How the Turkey Got Its Name

This article speculates on how the Turkey was named. This reference will spark a fun discussion around the Thanksgiving holiday.
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Biology (1,753)

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Birds (75)

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Animals (1,034)

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There are a number of explanations for the origin of the name of Thanksgiving's favorite dinner guest. Some believe Christopher Columbus thought that the land he discovered was connected to India, and believed the bird he discovered (the turkey) was a type of peacock. He therefore called it 'tuka,' which is 'peacock' in Tamil, an Indian language. Though the turkey is actually a type of pheasant, one can't blame the explorer for trying.

The Native American name for turkey is 'firkee'; some say this is how turkeys got their name. Simple facts, however, sometimes produce the best answers — when a turkey is scared, it makes a "turk, turk, turk" noise.

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