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November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving is upon us and as many of you are sure to be aware your plates will be stuffed with none other than turkey and many other things hopefully, after all what is the point of holidays if not for overindulgence. However, has anyone ever stopped to question why this bird is called a turkey perhaps that is not the most important question in your mind when you are attempting to determine the exact stuffing or worse still the seating plans? Yet, there are many who wonder why this key feature of our Thanksgiving celebrations is known as a Turkey at all and since it seems to be such a bone of contention naturally we at Sir Holiday had to find out what all the fuss was about. So, let us explore how a turkey got its name and it is far more of a story than one would imagine.

The word Turkey has meant ‘from the land of the Turks’ throughout the history of Turkish origin and is widely accepted by many scholars. Now you might be wondering if there are also turkeys similar to the ones in the USA within the ancient Turkish Empire and that is how the name came to be, but you would be wrong. No, an African bird that has a similar appearance to the American turkey seems to have brought about the confusion. The African bird is known as a guinea fowl, Portuguese traders travelled back to Europe through parts of the Turkish Empire in the North of Africa, thus many Europeans came to know this bird as a Turkish chicken if you will believe it. You might wonder how the travels of a guinea fowl have come to the influence the name of the American turkey, well that has to do with another travelling expedition.

Where did the Turkey get its Name?

When the Europeans began immigrating to the United States they came across these birds and mistook them for the guinea fowls they had come to be acquainted with. Thus the name turkey has stuck, even though in truth it has absolutely nothing to do with the country and certainly in ancient times the birds were not planning on having grand voyages over to Turkey either. Yet, I must inform you that English is one of many languages to have weird and wonderful names for the turkey that graces many a thanksgiving plate. For example, the French call it dinde; D’Inde means from India, you might think the French have gone mad referring to the American turkeys as originating from India but listen to the explanation. In the Hindi language, turkey is translated to tarki and thus sounds very similar and therefore a connection has been made that has stuck to this day.

There is one more language that seems to have a unique name for the turkey, in Portuguese a turkey is referred to as Peru, as in the South American country. Well, we hope you feel more confident now about your turkey origins, for all your holiday information and more visit Sir Holiday today.

Where did the Turkey get its Name?

Guinea fowl link:

Turkeys’ link:

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