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December 23, 2010

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Licia

For the historically-minded, there was an interesting piece in The Language of Food, http://languageoffood.blogspot.com/2010/11/turkey.html

"[...] What's up, then, with the name turkey? Why is a Mexican bird named for a large Eurasian democracy of the eastern Mediterranean? English is not alone in naming this bird after random countries. The word in French is dinde, a contraction of the original d'Inde 'of India'. In Dutch it's called kalkoen, a contraction of the original Kalecutisher Han, 'hen of Calicut' (the city in India now called Kozhikode)'. India appears also in the name in Turkish (hindi) and Polish (indik) and a number of other languages. In Portuguese, it's called peru , and in Levantine Arabic it's dik habash, 'the Ethiopian bird', after two more countries [...]"

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