4 entries found for turkey
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Main Entry: turˇkey
Inflected Form(s): plural turkeys
Etymology: from turkey-cock,
an old word for "guinea fowl," from Turkey,
a country in Asia Minor; so called because at one time people thought guinea fowl came from Turkey
, also turkey :
a large North American bird that is related to the domestic chicken and is domesticated in most parts of the world2 :
something that is a failure <the new play was a turkey
a stupid or foolish personWord History
The bird we now call the guinea fowl was once called the turkey. Turkey
was the shortened version of turkey-cock
The guinea fowl's original home was in Africa. However, Europeans discovered that it was good to eat and did well in captivity, so they brought it back to Europe. Some people mistakenly thought that the birds came from Turkey, and the name stuck. Later, when English settlers first arrived in America, they found a large bird living here that was also good to eat. They called this new bird turkey
because it reminded them of the turkey they were familiar with back in Europe.
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