Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How an American Bird Became Known as a Turkey


How an American Bird Became Known as a Turkey
by Stephen Messenger, Porto Alegre, Brazil on 11.23.10

For a species of bird found only in the forests of North America and so symbolic of a U.S. holiday, the humble turkey sure has an oddly Eurasian name -- but have you ever stopped to consider why? Well, it turns out that the origins of how this jowly bird arrived at its strikingly Turkish title reflect the history of its international popularity. The misnomer, as you well know, has yet to be corrected -- making turkeys one of the most curiously named birds on the planet.

To pin down an answer to why one of North America's most celebrated birds came to be named after a distant nation all one has to do is look at the history of global commerce.
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How an American Bird Became Known as a Turkey


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