It’s Thanksgiving time in the US. This involves the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, which includes a freshly cooked turkey. But what is a turkey? And why does it share a name with the country Turkey, despite being native to North America? It seems like the appropriate1time to get to the bottom of these burning questions!
The story starts with the guinea fowl, a bird from West Africa. Apparently, these birds started showing up in England in the 1500s, and the English didn’t know what to call them. They arrived from Turkey through spice trade routes, so the English called them “turkey-cocks” or “turkey-hens.”
Meanwhile, in 1526, actual turkeys started to arrive in England from North America, and the English misunderstood them to be the same type of animal. Once people figured out that the two were different species, they used the shortened name “turkey” to refer to the American bird.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash / 照片：Unsplash提供
That’s not the end of the story, though! In other languages, the name for this bird has translations that are equally puzzling. For example, in Turkey, its name means “(the bird) from India.” The Greek name means “French chicken,” and the Portuguese name is “Peru.”
But as Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name?” No matter what we call them, these peculiar animals have earned a place in our hearts, not to mention our stomachs. Happy Thanksgiving!
1. appropriate adj. 適當的；合適的
Vince and Yvette went shopping for an appropriate wedding gift for their friends.
2. apparently adv. 據說；看來
Jamal just called. Apparently, they’re having some problems at the factory.
3. misunderstand vt. 誤解；誤會
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not upset with you, I’m just too tired to go out tonight.
4. species n. 物種（單複數同形）
This species has adapted to the extreme conditions of the area’s harsh climate.
5. shorten v.（使）變短；縮短
The pants fit around her waist but they were a bit too long, so Sally had them shortened.
6. peculiar adj. 奇特的；奇怪的
Danny has a peculiar eating habit; he has to scratch his chin before every meal.
7. not to mention 更不用說；此外
I don’t want to go to the beach. It’ll be crowded, not to mention the
fact that it might rain.
Turkeys: The truth behind the name of these strange birds 為什麼火雞的英文 跟土耳其一樣呢？ It’s Thanksgiving time in the US. This involves the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, which includes a freshly cooked turkey. But what is a turkey? And why does it share a name with the country Turkey, despite being native to North America? It seems like the appropriate1time to get to the bottom of these burning questions! The story starts with the guinea fowl, a bird from West Africa. Apparently, these birds started showing up in England in the 1500s, and the English didn’t know what to call them. They arrived from Turkey through spice trade routes, so the English called them “turkey-cocks” or
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