A Conversation for Ask h2g2

LessUsed Facts

Post 9681

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - rofl Okay, I revise that - I'll believe Little Turkey was a real Cherokee Chief, Principal Chief no less, but I won't believe that's why people use the word 'turkey' as an epithet.

And that's interessting about the Tower of Babel, thanks! smiley - biggrin


LessUsed Facts

Post 9682

Baron Grim

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=turkey

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
turkey (n.)
1540s, originally "guinea fowl" (Numida meleagris), a bird imported from Madagascar via Turkey, and called guinea fowl when brought by Portuguese traders from West Africa. The larger North American bird (Meleagris gallopavo) was domesticated by the Aztecs, introduced to Spain by conquistadors (1523) and thence to wider Europe. The word turkey first was applied to it in English 1550s because it was identified with or treated as a species of the guinea fowl, and/or because it got to the rest of Europe from Spain by way of North Africa, then under Ottoman (Turkish) rule. Indian corn was originally turkey corn or turkey wheat in English for the same reason.

The Turkish name for it is hindi, literally "Indian," probably influenced by Middle French dinde (c.1600, contracted from poulet d'inde, literally "chicken from India," Modern French dindon), based on the then-common misconception that the New World was eastern Asia.
After the two birds were distinguished and the names differentiated, turkey was erroneously retained for the American bird, instead of the African. From the same imperfect knowledge and confusion Melagris, the ancient name of the African fowl, was unfortunately adopted by Linnæus as the generic name of the American bird. [OED]
The New World bird itself reputedly reached England by 1524 at the earliest estimate, though a date in the 1530s seems more likely. The wild turkey, the North American form of the bird, was so called from 1610s. By 1575, turkey was becoming the usual main course at an English Christmas. Meaning "inferior show, failure," is 1927 in show business slang, probably from the bird's reputation for stupidity. Meaning "stupid, ineffectual person" is recorded from 1951. Turkey shoot "something easy" is World War II-era, in reference to marksmanship contests where turkeys were tied behind a log with their heads showing as targets. To talk turkey (1824) supposedly comes from an old tale of a Yankee attempting to swindle an Indian in dividing up a turkey and a buzzard as food.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


LessUsed Facts

Post 9683

Baron Grim

TL;DR The American wild 'turkey' is misnamed for... reasons but the epithet "turkey" is a reference to the bird and it's perceived stupidity.


LessUsed Facts

Post 9684

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - cool


LessUsed Facts

Post 9685

Baron Grim

See that superfluous apostrophe? It's actually a comma that meandered away from its rightful place behind "reasons". smiley - doh


LessUsed Facts

Post 9686

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Thos sneaky apostrophes...I think they have a union...smiley - run


LessUsed Facts

Post 9687

Mr. X---> "God defend me from my friends, from my enemies I can defend myself."

ITI is largely correct, but his information is significantly incomplete. He had been more-or-less forced out of Greece by the Spartans, who didn't like him. Furthermore, he didn't become an advisor to Xerxes -- the king who attempted to invade Greece -- but rather to Artaxerxes, his son.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Themistocles#Aftermath_of_the_Persian_invasion


smiley - pirate


LessUsed Facts

Post 9688

~ jwf ~ a word to the wise is a fish hunt

...and a turkey shoot is a marksmanship competition
in which the best shot wins the top prize, a turkey.
Food for several people for several days.

Like Robin Hood who won the prize beef at the fair
Davie Crocket used to enter turkey shoots and give
the prize to the prettiest gal in the village and have
her cook up a feast for his friends and then pack up
a few samitches for laters.

smiley - winkeye
~jwf~


LessUsed Facts

Post 9689

Dmitri Gheorgheni

He did? I wonder what Mrs Crockett thought of that. smiley - whistle


LessUsed Facts

Post 9690

~ jwf ~ a word to the wise is a fish hunt

smiley - biggrin
Mrs Crockett was his hat.
http://www.hypnospiralcomic.com/?webcomic_post=coonskin-cap
http://youtu.be/qvrSRvniu_A
http://video.pbs.org/video/1512019021/
smiley - winkeye
~jwf~


LessUsed Facts

Post 9691

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - snork Well, if you're going to involve Oliver Sacks...


Key: Complain about this post