Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

I often avoid the Turkey comparison to the country we live in. Yes, we live in a country named after a bird. Ha ha ha. But in fact, we are the ones who named a bird after a country. So ha ha ha on we Americans. 

I thought it might be fun, on Thanksgiving day (aka "Turkey Day") to explain why we call a bird the name of a country. 

Centuries ago, Constantinople was an important hub of international trade, where merchants sold goods from Africa and the Far East to distributors in Europe. These products, instead of retaining a sense of their origin, often became known by the nationality of the exporters ... these new North American birds became a popular commodity throughout the world -- sure enough, mostly by way of Turkish merchants.

Ironically, the name of turkeys in the Turkish language is even more geographically off base; they're called Hindi, short for "bird from India." The Turks, better than anyone, knew the birds weren't from their homeland, but may have originally thought they came from India -- thanks to a little miscalculation by Columbus.

Happy Thanksgiving Day from our country to yours today. Please remember all of the servicemen and women celebrating far away from their families today. We are having a huge potluck at our house today with lots of friends who are all away from their "real" families.

To read the original article, click here. 

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