But what do you call a new import? Europeans in the New World were overwhelmed by the new plants and animals they saw and used names familiar to unfamiliar species. For example, in Spanish, I used the Spanish word “pavos” because I thought turkeys looked like peacocks. The French called them “poules d’Indes” or Indian chickens, later abbreviated as “dinde”.
To the British, the newly discovered American bird looked like a guinea fowl. A bird native to Africa, it was brought to Europe by Arab and Turkish traders in the 14th and 15th centuries.
And it is at this point in the story that modern turkeys named it.
The Ottoman Empire then culminated. Ethnic Turks based in Constantinople (now Istanbul) ran an empire that spanned the Near East, Middle East and North Africa. As a result, for many Europeans, anyone in the “east” was a “Turkish.”
Many of the agricultural products that came to Europe were considered “Turkey” because the Ottoman Empire dominated trade in the Eastern Mediterranean. That is why the Persian gemstone was named “turquoise” and the French version of that name “Pierre Turquoise” gave us the word “turquoise”.
Talking turkey!Origin of the Thanksgiving Bird Name (and lent to the movie flop) | Lifestyle
Source link Talking turkey!Origin of the Thanksgiving Bird Name (and lent to the movie flop) | Lifestyle