How Did Thanksgiving 'Turkey' Get its Name?
The U.S. Thanksgiving holiday is symbolized by its traditional food, a large bird we call a turkey. But turkey is certainly not from Turkey.
In fact, its English name is based on one big mistake. We could say it is a case of mistaken identity.
Let's set the record straight.
The word "Turkey" has meant "the land of the Turks" since ancient times. The word "turkey" as it refers to the bird first appeared in the English language in the mid-1500s.
The misunderstanding over the word happened because of two similar-looking kinds of birds.
There is an African bird called the guinea fowl. It has dark feathers with white spots and a patch of brown on the back of its neck. Portuguese traders brought the guinea fowl to Europe through North Africa.
This foreign bird came to Europe through Turkish lands. So, the English thought of the bird as a "Turkish chicken."
When Europeans came to North America, they saw a bird that looked like the guinea fowl. This bird was native to the North American continent.
Orin Hargraves is a lexicographer, someone who writes dictionaries. Hargraves explains what happened.
"Some Europeans saw an American turkey, thought that it was the guinea fowl, which at that time was called the ‘turkey cock,' and so gave it the same name."
Hundreds of years later, we continue to call this North American bird "turkey," even though it has no connection at all with the country Turkey, or even with Europe.
But English is not the only language with interesting -- and even questionable -- names for this North American bird.
The Turkish, for their part, call turkey "hindi," the Turkish name for India. The reference to India probably comes from the old, wrong idea that the New World was in Eastern Asia.
The French call it "dinde," a name that also connects the bird to India. "D'Inde" means "from India" in the French language. "Turkey" has similar names in several other languages.
So, what do they call this North American bird in India? Well, in the Hindi language, "turkey" is "tarki."
But wait, there's more. In Portuguese, the same bird is called "Peru," after the South American nation.
Thanks to our VOA Learning English Facebook friends, we have a few more names for "turkey" to share with you.
The Vietnamese word for the bird is "gà tay" or western chicken. Our Facebook friend Nguyen Duc explains that "local chicken is smaller than western chicken."
A Facebook friend in Myanmar explained that the Burmese word for "turkey" is "kyat sin." The name translates to "elephant chicken" in English.
"That animal looks like a big chicken," Zaw Myo Win explained.
The Dari language name for the bird, "fel murgh" also translates to "elephant chicken."
Abdulla Kawer explained to us that "here in Afghanistan this name represents the size of this delicious meal." He adds that he thinks the descriptive name "elephant chicken" is "better than a country name."
I'm Ashley Thompson.
1.ancient time 古代
Controversy on art was extended from ancient time to today.
2.refers to 涉及
His statement refers to people in general, not to anyone in particular.
3.guinea fowl 珍珠鸡
Chestnuts can be used at Christmas time, as a stuffing for turkey, guinea fowl or chicken.
4.a patch of 一片；一块
There was a patch of waste land behind the church
1.Let's set the record straight.
set the record straight 澄清事实
Let me set the record straight on the misconceptions contained in your article.
I have to set the record straight.
2.In fact, its English name is based on one big mistake.
base on 以...为根据
The study was based on data from 2,100 women.
Democracy is based on good will and mutual understanding.
火鸡这一道传统食物成为美国感恩节的象征 。但此turkey（火鸡）并非来自于彼Turkey（土耳其） 。
其实，该名字是因为一个失误造成的 。可以说是这是一次乌龙事件 。
自古以来，Turkey一词指的是土耳其人的土地 。16世纪中期，该词汇首次出现在英文中的意思是鸟 。
非洲有一种鸟叫珍珠鸡 。深色的羽毛伴有白色斑点，脖子后面有一撮褐色的毛 。葡萄牙商人将珍珠鸡从北非带到了欧洲 。
珍珠鸡途径土耳其到达欧洲 。因此英语里将这种鸟称为“土耳其鸡” 。
欧洲人到达北美时，看到了与珍珠鸡相似的鸟 。而这种鸟是北美大陆本土鸟类 。
奥林·哈格雷夫斯（Orin Hargraves）是词典编纂者，即编写字典的作者 。他解释了当时的场景 。
土耳其人称火鸡为hindi，土耳其语的意思为印度 。以印度命名可能是因为古老的错误观念：新大陆位于东亚 。
法语中的火鸡一词是dinde，也与印度有关 。“Dinde”的法语意思是来自于印度 。火鸡在其他语言中也有类似的名字 。
等一下，还没完呢 。葡萄牙语称这只鸟为Peru，以南美国家秘鲁命名 。
越南语称火鸡为ga tay，意为西方的鸡 。脸书网友阮德解释称，“本地的鸡比西方的鸡小的多 。”
缅甸一位脸书网友说，缅甸语中的火鸡词汇是kyat sin 。英文的意思是象鸡 。
梭莫闻（Zaw Myo Win）解释说：“火鸡像一只个头很大的鸡” 。
达里语中的火鸡一词为fel murgh，也是象鸡的意思 。
阿卜杜拉·卡维尔（Abdulla Kawer）介绍称，“在阿富汗，象鸡是指可口食物的大小 。”他还补充说，以象鸡命名总比“以国家命名要好吧” 。