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Turkey - The name
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1.       AlphaF
5677 posts
 29 Nov 2008 Sat 12:39 am

The Story of How the Unofficial Bird of the United
States Got Named After a Middle Eastern Country
(by Giancarlo Casale)

How did the turkey get its name? This seemingly harmless question popped
into my head one morning as I realized that the holidays were once again upon us. After all, I thought, there´s nothingmore American than a turkey. Their meat saved the pilgrims from starvation during their first winter in New England. Out of gratitude, if you can call it that, we eat them for Thanksgiving dinner, and again at Christmas, and gobble them up in sandwiches all year long. Every fourth grader can tell you that Benjamin Franklin was particularly fond of the wild turkey, and even campaigned to make it, and not the bald eagle, the national symbol. So how did such a creature e nd up taking its name from a medium sized countryin the Middle East? Was it just a coincidence? I wondered.


The next day I mentioned my musings to my landlord, whose wife is from Brazil. "That´s funny," he said, "In Portuguese the word for turkey is´peru.´ Same bird, different country."
Hmm.
With my curiosity piqued, I decided to go straight to the source. That very afternoon I found myself a Turk and asked him how to say turkey in Turkish. "Turkey?" he said. "Well, we call turkeys ´hindi,´ which means, you know, from India." India? This was
getting weird.

I spent the next few days finding out the word for turkey in as many languages as I could think of, and the more I found out, the weirder thingsgot. In Arabic, for instance, the word for turkeyis "Ethiopian bird," while in Greek it is "gallapoula" or "French girl."
The Persians, meanwhile, call them "buchalamun" which means, appropriately
enough, "chameleon."

In Italian, on the other hand, the word for turkey is "tacchino" which, my Italian relatives assured me, means nothing but the bird. "But," they added, "it reminds us of something else.

In Italy we call corn, which as everybody knows comes from America, ´grano turco,´ or ´Turkish grain.´" So here we were back to Turkey again! And as if things weren´t already confusing enough, a further consultation with my Turkish informant revealed that the Turks call corn "misir" which is also their word for Egypt!
By this point, things were clearly getting out of hand. But I persevered nonetheless, and just as I was about to give up hope,a pattern finally seemed to emerge from this bewildering labyrinth.

In French, it turns out, the word for turkey is "dinde," meaning "from India," just like in Turkish. The words in both German and Russian had similar meanings, so I was clearly on to something. The key, I reasoned, was to find out what turkeys are called in India, so I called up my high school friend´s wife, who is from an old Bengali family, and popped her the question.
"Oh," she said, "We don´t have turkeys in India. They come from America. Everybody knows that." "Yes," I insisted, "but what do you call them?" "Well, we don´t have them!" she said. She wasn´t being very helpful. Still, I persisted: "Look, you must have a word for them. Say you were watching an American movie translated from English and the actors
were all talking about turkeys. What would they say?""Well...I suppose inthat case they would just say the American word, ´turkey.´ Like I said, we don´t have them." So there I was, at a dead end. I began to realize only too late that I had unwittingly stumbled upon a problem whose solution lay far beyond the capacity of my own limited resources.Obviously I needed serious professional assistance. So the next morning I scheduled an
appointment with Prof. Sinasi Tekin of Harvard University, a world-renowned philologist and expert on Turkic languages. If anyone could help me, I figured it would be Professor Tekin.

As I walked into his office on the following Tuesday, I knew I would not be disappointed. Prof. Tekin had a wizened, grandfatherly face, a white, bushy, knowledgeable beard, and was surrounded by stack upon stack of just the sort of hefty, authoritative books which were sure to contain a solution to my vexing Turkish mystery. I introducedmyself, sat down, and eagerly awaited a dose of Prof. Tekin´s erudition. "You see," he said, "In the Turkish countryside there is a kind of bird, which is called a çulluk. It looks like a turkey but it is much smaller, and its meat is very delicious. Long beforethe discovery of America, English merchants had already discovered the delicious çulluk, and began exporting it back to England, where it became very popular, and was known as a ´Turkey bird´ or simply
a ´turkey.´ Then, when the English came to America, they mistook the birds here for çulluks, and so they began calling them ´turkey" also. But other peoples weren´t so easily fooled. They knew that these new birds came from America, and so they called them things like ´India birds,´ ´Peruvian birds,´ or ´Ethiopian birds.´ You see, ´India,´ ´Peru´ and ´Ethiopia´ were all common names for the New World in the early centuries, both because
people had a hazier understanding of geography, and because it took a whilefor the name ´America´ to catch on. "
"Anyway, since that time Americanshave begun exporting their birds everywhere, and even in Turkey people have started eating them, and have forgotten all about their delicious çulluk. This is a shame, because çulluk meat is really much, much tastier."

Prof. Tekin seemed genuinely sad as he explained all this to me. I did mybest to comfort him, and tried to express my regret at hearing of the unfairly cruel fate of the delicious çulluk. Deep down, however, I was ecstatic. I finally had a solution to this holiday problem, and knew I would be able once again to enjoy the main course of my traditional
Thanksgiving dinner without reservation.
Now if I could just figure out whythey call those little teeny dogs Chihuahuas.. ..

 

__._,_.___

2.       justinetime
1018 posts
 29 Nov 2008 Sat 12:57 am

amused....

3.       doudi94
845 posts
 29 Nov 2008 Sat 01:17 am

 

Quoting justinetime

amused....

 

you know, i always read your nick, just-in-time, is your last anme really time?

or did u purposely do that?

 

whoaaa taht was freaky1 I just like yawned this huge yawn (does that make any sense?)

why do our eyes get watery?

i imagined myself like a hippo loool! Yaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwn!

 

BTw i think i read this before

 

u know something funny?

today i was shopping with my mom, and i wanted somethin but they didnt have my size so the lady called another branch and asked them if they ahd it, and they reserved it for me and then my mom asked the lady where the store was in the mall, (my mom doesnt go to the mall so much ) and i told her that i knew and the cashier lady said yeah, i saw u there before,looool! She s like, i swear i saw u there before loooooooooooool! a million faces p[ass by and she remembers mine hilaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarious!

 

 

PS.(im going to sleep now iyi gecler ... )

4.       justinetime
1018 posts
 29 Nov 2008 Sat 01:43 am

 

Quoting doudi94

you know, i always read your nick, just-in-time, is your last anme really time?

or did u purposely do that?

 

whoaaa taht was freaky1 I just like yawned this huge yawn (does that make any sense?)

why do our eyes get watery?

i imagined myself like a hippo loool! Yaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwn!

 

BTw i think i read this before

 

u know something funny?

today i was shopping with my mom, and i wanted somethin but they didnt have my size so the lady called another branch and asked them if they ahd it, and they reserved it for me and then my mom asked the lady where the store was in the mall, (my mom doesnt go to the mall so much ) and i told her that i knew and the cashier lady said yeah, i saw u there before,looool! She s like, i swear i saw u there before loooooooooooool! a million faces p[ass by and she remembers mine hilaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarious!

 

 

PS.(im going to sleep now iyi gecler ... )

 

yeah, time is really my last name..... {#lang_emotions_cool} i´m cool that way... lol (but i might just change my last name to "time" or "case" or "love" or "sane" why not? lol... justinetime, justinecase, justinelove, justinesane.....

5.       Queent
183 posts
 29 Nov 2008 Sat 02:05 am

 

Quoting AlphaF

 

Thanks for sharing

6.       yilgun-7
1326 posts
 29 Nov 2008 Sat 02:26 am

TÜRKÝYE

 

Türkiye´s official name is " TÜRKÝYE", not Turkey, according to Turkish law Constitution.The world history from 200 to 2000 calls "Turks".Turkey is a wrong name, because it is not legal.Law is law.This name must correct as TÜRKÝYE.

  

7.       Deli_kizin
6376 posts
 29 Nov 2008 Sat 03:22 am

 

Quoting yilgun-7

TÜRKÝYE

 

Türkiye´s official name is " TÜRKÝYE", not Turkey, according to Turkish law Constitution.The world history from 200 to 2000 calls "Turks".Turkey is a wrong name, because it is not legal.Law is law.This name must correct as TÜRKÝYE.

  

 

What are you trying to say??

 

Do you say Hollanda in Turkish, or do you call it ´Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden´ or ´Nederland´ the way we do? I didn´t think so.. Why should foreigners say a country´s name the way its inhabitants say? Turkey isnt a wrong name. It is its name for English speakers, just as Turks say Ýngiltere and not England, just as Dutch people say Turkije and Turkish people say Hollanda.

8.       Deli_kizin
6376 posts
 29 Nov 2008 Sat 03:22 am

 

Quoting justinetime

amused....

 

 +1!

 

That was a very nice read indeed!

9.       yilgun-7
1326 posts
 29 Nov 2008 Sat 01:58 pm

I think we all have different perspectives on this.But scientific, legal and historic knowledges are important and esteemed .I am afraid I don´t agree with you.And you of course don´t have to agree with me.

"If all people and English speakers say ´the world is flat´, will you believe them?"I dont think so.

 

10.       justinetime
1018 posts
 29 Nov 2008 Sat 02:47 pm

 

Quoting Deli_kizin

What are you trying to say??

 

Do you say Hollanda in Turkish, or do you call it ´Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden´ or ´Nederland´ the way we do? I didn´t think so.. Why should foreigners say a country´s name the way its inhabitants say? Turkey isnt a wrong name. It is its name for English speakers, just as Turks say Ýngiltere and not England, just as Dutch people say Turkije and Turkish people say Hollanda.

 

i agree with this.... i don´t here Turkish people or Americans call my country Pilipinas (Philippines) the way we do here. Americans and English people call the country Turkey, Turks call it Türkiye, and people from Africa probably have another word for Türkiye... hehehe... i don´t see any problem with this....

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