The Bowie knife is a large combat knife designed by American Colonel James Bowie in the early 19th century. The blade is typically around 12 inches.
The knives are, ironically, illegal in the state of Texas, where they were first popularized.
The Bowie Knife appears only in the Nazi Zombies mode. It appears only in Der Riese, and is visibly much larger than the standard combat knife. The Bowie Knife costs 3000 Points, but also has a vast increase in damage. It becomes a one-hit-kill from Rounds 1 to 11, meaning that it can be a relatively effective weapon even in later levels. The Bowie Knife cannot be lost - even if the player is downed or dies, it will still be in their possession upon respawning or being revived.
The Bowie Knife available in Black Ops is slightly different from the World at War version. Again, it is exclusive to the Zombies mode, and looks almost identical. It costs 3000 Points, but is even more effective, as it can be combined with the Ballistic Knife. The Bowie Knife appears in both of the 'core' maps of Black Ops: Five and Kino Der Untoten.