Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Why is the American bird called Turkey?

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Beylerbeyi View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 02-Aug-2004
Location: Cuba
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1355
  Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why is the American bird called Turkey?
    Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 05:18
Someone forwarded me this;

Talking Turkey: The Story of How the Unofficial Bird of the United States Got Named After a Middle Eastern Country
(by Giancarlo Casale)

>         How did the turkey get its name? This seemingly harmless
>  question popped into my head one morning as I realized that the
>  holidays were once again upon us. After all, I thought, there's
>  nothing more American than a turkey. Their meat saved the pilgrims
>  from starvation during their first winter in New England. Out of
>  gratitude, if you can call it that, we eat them for Thanksgiving
>  dinner, and again at Christmas, and gobble them up in sandwiches all
>  year long. Every fourth grader can tell you that Benjamin Franklin
>  was particularly fond of the wild turkey, and even campaigned to
>  make it, and not the bald eagle, the national symbol. So how did
>  such a creature end up taking its name from a medium sized country
>  in the Middle East? Was it just a coincidence? I wondered.
>
>        The next day I mentioned my musings to my landlord, whose wife
>  is from Brazil. "That's funny," he said, "In Portuguese the word for
> turkey is 'peru.' Same bird, different country." Hmm.
>
>        With my curiosity piqued, I decided to go straight to the
>  source. That very afternoon I found myself a Turk and asked him how
>  to say turkey in Turkish. "Turkey?" he said. "Well, we call
>  turkeys 'hindi,' which means, you know, from India." India? This was
>  getting weird.
>
>        I spent the next few days finding out the word for turkey in
>  as many languages as I could think of, and the more I found out, the
>  weirder things got. In Arabic, for instance, the word for turkey
>  is "Ethiopian bird," while in Greek it is "gallapoula" or "French
>  girl." The Persians, meanwhile, call them "buchalamun" which means,
>  appropriately enough, "chameleon."
>
>        In Italian, on the other hand, the word for turkey
>  is "tacchino" which, my Italian relatives assured me, means nothing
>  but the bird. "But," they added, "it reminds us of something else.
>  In Italy we call corn, which as everybody knows comes from
>  America, 'grano turco,' or 'Turkish grain.'" So here we were back to
> Turkey again! And as if things weren't already confusing enough, a
> further consultation with my Turkish informant revealed that the
>  Turks call corn "misir" which is also their word for Egypt!
>
>        By this point, things were clearly getting out of hand. But I
>  persevered nonetheless, and just as I was about to give up hope, a
>  pattern finally seemed to emerge from this bewildering labyrinth. In
>  French, it turns out, the word for turkey is "dinde," meaning "from
>  India," just like in Turkish. The words in both German and Russian
>  had similar meanings, so I was clearly on to something. The key, I
>  reasoned, was to find out what turkeys are called in India, so I
>  called up my high school friend's wife, who is from an old Bengali
>  family, and popped her the question.
>
>        "Oh," she said, "We don't have turkeys in India. They come
>  from America. Everybody knows that."
>
>        "Yes," I insisted, "but what do you call them?"
>        "Well, we don't have them!" she said. She wasn't being very
> helpful. Still, I persisted:
>
>        "Look, you must have a word for them. Say you were watching an
> American movie translated from English and the actors were all
>  talking about turkeys. What would they say?"
>
>        "Well...I suppose in that case they would just say the
>  American word, 'turkey.' Like I said, we don't have them."
>        So there I was, at a dead end. I began to realize only too
> late that I had unwittingly stumbled upon a problem whose solution
>  lay far beyond the capacity of my own limited resources. Obviously I
>  needed serious professional assistance. So the next morning I
>  scheduled an appointment with Prof. inasi Tekin of Harvard
>  University, a world-renowned philologist and expert on Turkic
>  languages. If anyone could help me, I figured it would be Professor
>  Tekin.
>
>        As I walked into his office on the following Tuesday, I knew I
>  would not be disappointed. Prof. Tekin had a wizened, grandfatherly
>  face, a white, bushy, knowledgeable beard, and was surrounded by
>  stack upon stack of just the sort of hefty, authoritative books
>  which were sure to contain a solution to my vexing Turkish mystery.
>  I introduced myself, sat down, and eagerly awaited a dose of Prof.
>  Tekin's erudition.
>
>        "You see," he said, "In the Turkish countryside there is a
>  kind of bird, which is called a ulluk. It looks like a turkey but
>  it is much smaller, and its meat is very delicious. Long before the
>  discovery of America, English merchants had already discovered the
>  delicious ulluk, and began exporting it back to England, where it
> became very popular, and was known as a 'Turkey bird' or simply
>  a 'turkey.' Then, when the English came to America, they mistook the
>  birds here for ulluks, and so they began calling them 'turkey"
>  also. But other peoples weren't so easily fooled. They knew that
> these new birds came from America, and so they called them things
>  like 'India birds,' 'Peruvian birds,' or 'Ethiopian birds.' You
>  see, 'India,' 'Peru' and 'Ethiopia' were all common names for the
>  New World in the early centuries, both because people had a hazier
>  understanding of geography, and because it took a while for the
>  name 'America' to catch on.
>
>        "Anyway, since that time Americans have begun exporting their
>  birds everywhere, and even in Turkey people have started eating
>  them, and have forgotten all about their delicious ulluk. This is a
>  shame, because ulluk meat is really much, much tastier."
>
>        Prof. Tekin seemed genuinely sad as he explained all this to
>  me. I did my best to comfort him, and tried to express my regret at
>  hearing of the unfairly cruel fate of the delicious ulluk. Deep
>  down, however, I was ecstatic. I finally had a solution to this
>  holiday problem, and knew I would be able once again to enjoy the
> main course of my traditional Thanksgiving dinner without
> reservation.
>
>        Now if I could just figure out why they call those little
>  teeny dogs Chihuahuas....
Back to Top
Cywr View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6003
  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 09:14
Intresting, but isn't Arabic 'Deek Romi' - Romainian bird or something?

And why do the Dutch call it a Kalkoen?
Arrrgh!!"
Back to Top
Styrbiorn View Drop Down
Caliph
Caliph


Joined: 04-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2810
  Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 16:00
Originally posted by Cywr



And why do the Dutch call it a Kalkoen?



We call it that too (but don't have the notoriously weird Dutch spelling - in Swedish it's kalkon). The etymology is quite intresting, the reason is about the same as why the American natives are called 'Indians'. The bird came from this continent, which we all know was believed to be India in the very beginning, and what was the Indian port most known in Europe? Exactly. Thus, the bird was called "Calicut-bird".

The Germans have the same name as the English - Turkey (Trkei).

Edited by Styrbiorn
Back to Top
Cywr View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6003
  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 16:13
AH, the mystery is solved (i've always wondered where the name came from)

And now i really want to taste a ulluk, to think that Britian used to import them, and now make do with the overfed and tasteless American varient.
Arrrgh!!"
Back to Top
ihsan View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 06-Aug-2004
Location: Turkey
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 831
  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 17:13
Oh, that Prof. Tekin died some two weeks ago
[IMG]http://img50.exs.cx/img50/6148/ger3.jpg">

Qaghan of the Vast Steppes

Steppes History Forum
Back to Top
cattus View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 02-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1803
  Quote cattus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 17:43
How is ulluk pronounced.. it is extinct?
Back to Top
Jalisco Lancer View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan

Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 07-Aug-2004
Location: Mexico
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2112
  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 17:49

 

 

  Cut the discussion 

  The turkey bird is in reality the Mexican Guaxolotl ( Guajolote ).

  Imported from Mexico to Europe and brought back from Europe North America by the pilgrims.

Back to Top
Cywr View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6003
  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 18:03
Hmm didn't the Spanish first bring it to Europe very early? (early 1500s)
Arrrgh!!"
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Sep-2004 at 18:06
Originally posted by Cywr

Hmm didn't the Spanish first bring it to Europe very early? (early 1500s)

The first European to eat a Turkey was Obelix
Back to Top
ihsan View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 06-Aug-2004
Location: Turkey
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 831
  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Oct-2004 at 14:46

Originally posted by Catt

How is ulluk pronounced..

Tchoullouck

[IMG]http://img50.exs.cx/img50/6148/ger3.jpg">

Qaghan of the Vast Steppes

Steppes History Forum
Back to Top
cattus View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 02-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1803
  Quote cattus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Oct-2004 at 15:16
oooh, nothing as i thought.Thank you.
Back to Top
Cywr View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6003
  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Oct-2004 at 15:58
How did Demon's post wind up in here?
Arrrgh!!"
Back to Top
Evildoer View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 25-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 434
  Quote Evildoer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Oct-2004 at 17:40
It's that accursed date-mess up. I deleted some of my posts because of that.
Back to Top
Hellinas View Drop Down
Knight
Knight


Joined: 20-Dec-2004
Location: Greece
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 85
  Quote Hellinas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Dec-2004 at 18:41
turkey Look up turkey at Dictionary.com
1541, "guinea fowl" (Numida meleagris), imported from Madagascar via Turkey, by Near East traders known as turkey merchants. The larger North American bird (Meleagris gallopavo) was domesticated by the Aztecs, introduced to Spain by conquistadors (1523) and thence to wider Europe, by way of North Africa (then under Ottoman rule) and Turkey (Indian corn was originally turkey corn or turkey wheat in Eng. for the same reason). The word turkey was first applied to it in Eng. 1555 because it was identified with or treated as a species of the guinea fowl. The Turkish name for it is hindi, lit. "Indian," probably via Fr. dinde "turkey hen," based on the common misconception that the New World was eastern Asia. The New World bird itself reputedly reached England by 1524 (when Henry VIII dined on it at court). Turkeys raised by the Pilgrims were probably stock brought from England. By 1575, turkey was becoming the usual main course at an English Christmas. Meaning "inferior show, failure," is 1927 in show business slang, probably from the image of the turkey as a stupid bird.

http://www.etymonline.com

Back to Top
Fizzil View Drop Down
Pretorian
Pretorian
Avatar

Joined: 03-Nov-2004
Location: United Arab Emirates
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 197
  Quote Fizzil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2004 at 14:24
Deek Rumi - Roman bird or something... also Deek Habashi (abyssinian bird). I don't know the reasoning behind calling them these names, but most probably they came from italy or somalia/ethiopia via trade.
Back to Top
Jagatai Khan View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar
Jeune Turc

Joined: 07-Aug-2004
Location: Turkey
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1270
  Quote Jagatai Khan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2004 at 01:58

I heard that Turkey's name changed into Turkei in formal correspondances,is it true?

Back to Top
Infidel View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel
Avatar

Joined: 19-Dec-2004
Location: Neutral Zone
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 691
  Quote Infidel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2004 at 07:02
I think that Trkei is the german word. Turkey in english, and Trkiye (correct me if I'm wrong) in turkish...
An nescite quantilla sapientia mundus regatur?
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2004 at 09:18
Originally posted by Jagatai Khan

I heard that Turkey's name changed into Turkei in formal correspondances,is it true?


Indeed Trkei is the German word for Turkey. German is the most widely spoken language in the EU union. So it's possible that the German names of countries are used in formal EU conferences.
Back to Top
Cywr View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 03-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6003
  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2004 at 11:15
Would be cooler if they used the Latin Turchia IMHO.
Arrrgh!!"
Back to Top
Infidel View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel
Avatar

Joined: 19-Dec-2004
Location: Neutral Zone
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 691
  Quote Infidel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2004 at 19:45
Or just plain simple Turkey. English is the lingua franca of our times.
An nescite quantilla sapientia mundus regatur?
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.125 seconds.