Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Weird Wednesday: "Turkey" a Word Bigger than Bird

Life has been hectic lately.  Now, it's hectic for a different reason.  Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  I am tasked with picking up the bird and its trimmings this morning.  We ordered one of those turkeys that lived a life of luxury: no injections, no cages, an upstairs maid, a chiropractor and a jet ski.

The turkey is native to North America, yet bears the name of a nation at the intersection of Europe and Asia.  What's up with that, you might ask?  Or you might not but I'm going to tell you anyway.

This scruffy looking bird made its way to Europe through early European explorers and traders entertaining people with the strange things they found over yonder.  Things like animals, foods and Lady Gaga.  Farmers in turkey started breeding the birds and traded them across Europe.  They became known as "turkey birds" after their newly localized point of origin.  That eventually was shortened and today we eat "turkey" with no sense of irony about the name.

As to how a turkey came to be a pejorative slam on things?  Well, have you ever seen one?

Happy Thanksgiving.

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