How did the turkey bird get its name? It depends on where you come from - Turkey names around the world.

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How did the turkey bird get its name? It depends on where you come from - Turkey names around the world.

Wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) live in woods in parts of North America and are the largest game birds found in this part of the world. They spend their days foraging for food like acorns, seeds, small insects and wild berries. They spend their nights in low branches of trees.

As far as we can tell, the first European explorers to discover (and eat) turkey were those in Hernan Cortez's expedition in Mexico in 1519. This new delicacy was brought back to Europe by Spanish Conquistadors and by 1524, had reached England.

The bird was domesticated in England within a decade, and by the turn of the century, it's name -- "turkey" -- had entered the English language.

Case in point: William Shakespeare used the term in Twelfth Night, believed to be written in 1601 or 1602. The lack of context around his usage suggests that the term had widespread reach.

But the birds did not come directly from the New World to England; rather, they came via merchant ships from the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Those merchants were called "Turkey merchant" as much the area was part of the Turkish Empire at the time. Purchasers of the birds back home in England thought the fowl came from the area, hence the name "Turkey birds" or, soon thereafter, "turkeys."

Not all languages follow this misconception.

The Hebrew term for turkey, transliterated as Tarnagol Hodu, literally translates to "chicken of India," furthering the Elizabethan-era myth that New World explorers had found a route to the Orient.

The French thought it was from India and so named it Dindon, from pouletes d’Inde.

Although the Germans, Dutch, and Swedes agreed that the bird was Indian they named it Kilcon after Calcutta.

In English the Turkish word for turkey is "Hindi."

The Germans named it "Truthühner" apparently after the sound it makes, and possibly also after its behavior. The name part Trut- is connected etymologically to the onomatopoeia of the animal's call trut-trut, especially the mating call, or also from the Middle Low German droten ("to threaten", Old Norse şrutna "to swell up", Old English ştrutian "to swell from fury or pride") relating to the animal's typical threatening gestures.

In Catalan it's called "Gall D'indi" (which means Indian rooster) not because it was thought to come from India, but because Catalans referred to America as India.

In Swahili, turkey is "Bata Mzinga", meaning "big duck"

In Ojibway, a turkey is "Mi-zi-say" . Literal translation "large space bird".

In China, Turkey translate to "Fire Chicken".

In Morocco they call it "Bibi."

In Italy, apparently nobody cares where it comes from; they call it 'Tacchino', which probably means something like 'stained', 'with spots'.

Arabs and Lebanese call it "Deek Roomi" which means "Roman rooster" (in some languages Roman usually means all Europe) or "Habash" which also means Ethiopian.

The Peruvians call it Guajolote because its spanish mispronunciation of the Aztec word "Huehxolotl".

The Aztecs called it Huehxolotl because it was their bird, they knew exactly where it came from and they had the right to call it whatever they felt like it.

The Mexicans don't care and call it Pavo, which means peacock, which they don't eat.

In Spanish they call it "Guajolote" (from Nahuatl "Hueyxolotl" that means Big Monster)

n Russian, Turkey is called "Indeika" also indicating that it came from India.

Bonus fact: As for Turkey, the country? The story isn't as interesting. The word Turkey -- actually, Türkiye in Turkish -- can be broken up into two parts. "Türk" is a reference to people, potentially meaning "human beings" in an archaic version of the Turkish language. The "-iye" suffix most likely meant "land of."

More:Here

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By netchicken: posted on 24-11-2010








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