In The Country Of Turkey, The Bird Known In The U.S. As A Turkey Is Called?
Answer: Hindi Bird
If ever there was a case of confused point of origin in the animal kingdom, the humble Turkey is it. There are several types of Turkey, all native to the Americas, with the Wild Turkey the most famous as it is the variety found in North American forests and served by the millions every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners across the United States.
When European explorers first encountered the Wild Turkey in their exploration of North America, they bestowed the name Turkey upon it because they confused it with a type of guineafowl common in Europe. That guineafowl was known popularly as “Turkey” to the Europeans because the majority of birds imported to Central Europe were brought there by trade routes that passed through the country of Turkey. The mistaken name was only the beginning of a long process of the poor Turkey being misidentified. As Turkeys were brought from North America to other regions of the world, each new region they arrived in had a strong tendency to assign their origin as somewhere exotic (typically associating the bird with whatever colonial entity introduced the bird to the region).
In Cambodia and Greece, the bird is known as “French Chicken or French Bird”. In many Arabic-speaking countries, it is known as “Roman/Greek/Byzantine Rooster or Chicken”. In Malaysia it’s known as “Dutch Chicken”. In Turkey, the actual namesake of the bird as used by North Americans, the bird is known as a “Hindi” bird, alluding to its origin in India. In fact, the bird is called Indian, from India or some variant thereof in Armenia, France, Georgia, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine.
Image courtesy of Yathin S Krishnappa.