The bird from everywhere but where it’s from

The turkey, as you may know, does not come from Turkey. It also does not come from France, India, Rome, or Peru. And yet its names in different languages around the world attribute it to those places. So… why? Find out in my latest article for The Week:

How the Thanksgiving turkey was named after the country Turkey


3 responses to “The bird from everywhere but where it’s from

  1. Not a load of ‘gobbledegook’ I hope!

  2. Israelis think the turkey came from India. That’s why we call it 3oF HoDu (as in Hindu), literally “bird of India”. Hodu is a homonym that also means “thanks, to give thanks”. Many Israelis know that it is customary to eat turkey at the Thanksgiving holiday meal. Half of them think turkey is served because the name of the holiday is Thanksgiving. The other half think the holiday is called Thanksgiving because turkey is eaten on that day. 🙂

    The turkey is quite a strange bird.
    She’s really from HoDu I heard.
    It’s the meat from this beast
    On Thanksgiving we feast.
    Now isn’t that really absurd?

    Chow, I mean ciao,

  3. To add one to your list: in Malay it is called ayam belanda: “Dutch chicken.” (In Indonesian, which is basically the same language but with substantially more Dutch influence it is kalkun, obviously a direct borrowing of kalkoen.

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