A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 26, 2018
“Split happens” (bowling saying)

"Split happens” is a bowling saying that has been printed on many images. Bowlers try to avoid a split (with pins left on opposite sides of the lane). The joke is a variation on the 1980s saying, “shit happens.”

“Split Happens” was a bowling team name that was printed in the Chippewa Herald-Telegram (Chippewa Falls, WI) on October 12, 1987.


Wikipedia: Shit happens
Shit happens is a common vulgar slang phrase that is used as a simple existential observation that life is full of unpredictable events, either “Así es la vida” or “C’est la vie”. The phrase is an acknowledgment that bad things happen to people seemingly for no particular reason. The phrase was first observed in 1964, but wasn’t used in a print publication until 1983.

12 October 1987, Chippewa Herald-Telegram (Chippewa Falls, WI), pg. A13, col. 1:
Split Happens
(Bowling team name.—ed.)

7 September 1988, The News-Leader (Springfield, MO), “Bowling,” pg. 4C, col. 3:
Split Happens
(Team name.—ed.)

Google Groups: alt.sport.bowling
Funny Bowling Team/League Names
jerryin...@my-deja.com
6/17/99
(...)
“Split Happens”

Twitter
rstanfill
@rstanfill
getting ready for bed after a long day ... playoff bowling tomorrow night! 1st Place - Split Happens!
10:36 PM - 23 Sep 2008

Google Books
Bowling For Dummies
By A.J. Forrest and Lisa Iannucci
Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
2010
Pg. 265:
SPLIT HAPPENS
(Team name.—ed.)

Athlon Sports & Life
100 Funny, Clever Bowling Team Names
By Rob McVey, 3/13/17, 5:52 PM EDT
(...)
Split Happens

Google Books
Title Split Happens - a Bowler’s Journal
Author Judith Solnick
Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018
ISBN 1724872745, 9781724872746
Length 50 pages

Women.com
28 Bowling Instagram Captions That Are Right Up Your Alley!
Kelley O’Brien
Jul 04, 2018
(...)
Split happens.

Twitter
Elissa Oliveria
@elissa_oliveria
JW leadership- March of dimes-Bowling for babies. Team name-Split happens 🎳 😁 #Capldi5
7:50 PM - 26 Sep 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Wednesday, September 26, 2018 • Permalink