Green’s Dictionary of Slang

strike n.

1. [early 18C–mid-19C] (UK Und.) a sovereign, a guinea [SE strike, to mint a coin].

2. [late 19C–1900s] a watch [SE strike, to ring the time].

3. [1900s–50s] (US) a failure to seduce [baseball imagery].

4. [1910s+] (US Und.) an arrest and the prison sentence that follows; thus two strikes, two terms in prison; three strikes, three arrests and the mandatory life sentence that follows in many states [baseball imagery, three strikes and you’re out].

5. [1930s–50s] (US) any position of weakness [baseball imagery].

6. [1970s] (US prison) a disciplinary charge [baseball imagery].

SE in slang uses

In compounds

strike breaker (n.)

[1920s] (US) a woman who takes advantage of a temporary estrangement to date the male of a couple.

In phrases

make a strike (v.) [orig. skittles/bowling imagery, later baseball imagery]

[mid-19C+] to be lucky, to be successful.

make a ten-strike (v.) [bowling use ten-strike, the knocking over of all ten pins]

[late 19C–1940s] (US) to do well, to succeed.