Turkey (bird) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkey_%28bird%29

A pretty fascinating look at an etymological game of broken telephone:

When Europeans first encountered these species in the Americas, they incorrectly identified them with the African Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris), also known as the turkey-cock from its importation to Europe through Turkey, and the name of that country stuck as also the name of the American bird. The confusion is also reflected in the scientific name: meleagris is Greek for guinea-fowl.

The names for the Turkey in other languages also frequently reflect its exotic origins, seen from an Old World viewpoint, and confusion about where it actually comes from.

In Turkish the bird is called hindi which means “from & related to India”; likewise the French d’inde (“from India”).

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