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Why is the American bird called Turkey?

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  Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Why is the American bird called Turkey?
    Posted: 25-Dec-2004 at 20:01
Originally posted by Hellinas

<DT =highlight>[COLOR=#800020">turkey[/COLOR"> <A class=dictionary title="Look up turkey at Dictionary.com" href="http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=turkey">[IMG]title="Look up turkey at Dictionary.com" height=16 alt="Look up turkey at Dictionary.com" src="http://www.etymonline.com/graphics/dictionary.gif" width=16/A>
<DD =highlight>1541, "guinea fowl" (<SPAN =foreign>Numida meleagris</SPAN>, imported from Madagascar via Turkey, by Near East traders known as <SPAN =foreign>turkey merchants</SPAN>. The larger North American bird (<SPAN =foreign>Meleagris gallopavo</SPAN> 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 <SPAN =foreign>turkey corn</SPAN> or <SPAN =foreign>turkey wheat</SPAN> in Eng. for the same reason). The word <SPAN =foreign>turkey</SPAN> 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 <SPAN =foreign>hindi</SPAN>, lit. "Indian," probably via Fr. <SPAN =foreign>dinde</SPAN> "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. </DD>
<P =highlight>http://www.etymonline.com



The Turkey was imported from Mexico to Europe by the spaniards and its called Guaxolotl in nahuatl.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domesticated_turkey

The domesticated turkey is descended from the North American Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo. The Aztecs domesticated the southern Mexican form, M. g. gallopavo, one of six subspecies.

Suggestions have been made that the Mexican Ocellated Turkey (Meleagris ocellata) might also be involved, but the plumage of domestic turkeys does not support this theory; in particular, the chest tuft of domestic turkeys is a clear indicator of descent from the Wild Turkey (the Ocellated Turkey does not have this tuft).

The turkey is reared throughout temperate parts of the World, and is a popular form of poultry because industrialised farming has made it very cheap for the amount of meat, and it is considered healthier and less fattening than red meat.

Eating turkey was once mainly restricted to special occasions like Christmas in Europe, and Thanksgiving in North America, in both cases having displaced the traditional goose, but it is now available year-round in supermarkets.

In the USA, the female domesticated turkey is referred to as a hen, a male as a tom, a chick as a poult and a castrated turkey as a hokie. In Europe, the male is a stag.

Modern breeds of turkey are too large to breed naturally, so they are usually bred using artificial insemination. However, turkey hens are often able to produce young from unfertilized eggs in a process called parthenogenesis.

The great majority of domesticated turkeys have white feathers, although brown or bronze-feathered varieties are also raised.

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jan-2005 at 15:02

Why is the American bird called Turkey?

When Europeans first encountered the turkey in the Americas, they incorrectly identified it with the African Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris), also known as the turkey-cock from its importation to Europe through Turkey, and the name stuck. It remains also in the scientific name: meleagris is Greek for guinea-fowl.

source: Wikipedia

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