First of all, let’s state the obvious: The bird was named after the country and not the other way around. But why did the bird get its name from Turkey even though it’s not associated with the country whatsoever?
Here’s the interesting story.
Turkeys originate from the Americas. Before being discovered though, a similar looking and tasting bird was known to The Europeans: the Guinea fowl. The Guinea fowl originates from Africa but it was transferred to Europe through the Ottoman Empire, hence it was often called the turkey-hen. When the Europeans arrived to America and discovered the bird we now know as turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), they called it, by association, the turkey-hen which was soon shortened to just turkey. When they later on discovered that this was in fact, another bird, it was too late; the name stuck. (the article continues after the ad)
Bonus fact: The very same bird is called “hindi” in Turkish, which means “Indian”. In French, it is called “Coq d’Inde”, meant “Rooster of India”. Both of these names derived from the misconception that America was basically India. In other languages such as Cambodian, Greek, Irish and Manx, the bird is called “French chicken” due to the fact that, at the time, many things of western origin, came to Europe through the French colonisation.
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: Why Are They Called French Fries?
Photos: University of Texas Libraries, Wallpapers HD
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
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