Bowling Translations – Bowling Memoirs of Johnny Petraglia

Bowling terms are great and have also changed through the years. Here’s a couple of terms we use, and then a translation of the terms we used in my neighborhood growing up.

In bowling we have great terms like:

Rip the Rack
Blow the Five
Domino the 2 pin

We also have words that change. For instance, the word “skid” is now “push.” The words “hook” or “flip” are now “peel.” One of my favorite expressions was said by a teenager in Chicago. I was bowling in a Junior pro-am with a lot of good young bowlers. One teen I was bowling with started with the front 5. His friend came down and asked how he was doing. He said, “I flushed the front 4 and then caught the book early and slammed the dime.” I said, “Okay I’ve never heard that one, what does that mean?”. He said, “Flush the front 4. We all know what that means.” I said, “Right.” He said,

“In the 5th frame I pulled the ball, and there’s so much oil in the center of the lanes it’s as thick as the Chicago telephone book. By pulling the ball and hitting the oil early, the ball didn’t finish, so I hit half pocket. I swished the rack, left the 10 pin, and the headpin came back across the lane and took it out. I slammed the dime!”.

What most of us call the messenger taking out the 10 pin, they call slamming the dime…pretty cool.

In Brooklyn, growing up, we said things a little differently as well. When you crossed over, the rest of the country said, “I threw a Brooklyn.” We said, “I threw a Jersey.” When the rest of the country “tripped the 4,”we “kicked the 4.” When the lanes are hooking the rest of the country said the lanes were “slow.” In Brooklyn we said the lanes are “fast.” The logic being if the lanes are hooking, you have to throw it faster.

In my neighborhood, besides saying what the rest of Brooklyn was saying , we also shortened the English language. For us it came down to two phrases and one word. The first phrase was, “You show me a lot.” The second phrase was, “You don’t show me much.” THE word is “nobody.” It’s important to note with the word nobody, the emphasis is on the “NO” and you can extend the end of the word depending on how important the shot was…. “NObodyyy!!”.

Now, “You show me a lot,” covers everything good and, “You don’t show me much,” covers everything bad. For example, if somebody shoots 250, instead of saying nice game, you say, “You show me a lot.” If they bowl 150 you say, “You don’t show me much.” It can pertain to anything, even outside of bowling. For instance, if you were going on a date, when you picked the girl up, if she looked great you would say, “You show me a lot.” But if you thought she was wearing a great looking dress, you would say, “You show me alot with that dress.” Now, when, “You show me a lot and…You don’t show me much,” pertains to something like a whole game, “Nobody” is for one specific act. As an example, when Mickey Mantle hit a home run 450 feet you wouldn’t say, “You show me alot Mick.” You would say, “Nobodyy!” Meaning that nobody hits home runs like that, especially in the clutch. See, one word covers a couple of sentences. So when somebody needs a strike to win the game and hits half pocket and throws the 5 through the wall, you say, “Nobody!”.

So in Bensonhurst Brooklyn we shortened the English language. It made things a lot easier when you weren’t sure what to say. So to Jason Belmonte on winning the T of C about a month ago, “You show me a lot Jason.” But to my buddies Sean Rash for bowling “300” on the show in the Tournament of Champions (with an LT- 48) and Parker Bohn III on winning the World Championship with that great sudden death finish………….” NObodyyyyyyyyy!!!!!”.

cento anni’…Johnny Petraglia

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