I did a little probing into the mythology of Thanksgiving for this holiday, and I learned one valuable fact: searching google for turkey myths opened me up to a whole region of mythology (i.e. the myths of the Turkish people), but told me little about myths surrounding turkeys as animals.
I did, however, find the answer to one question that I had never really asked before:
Why are turkeys called turkeys?
It would seem that after the Spaniards discovered the New World, they brought back turkeys to Europe. It is very unlikely that Native Americans gave the Pilgrims their first taste of turkey; most likely, the Pilgrims already knew this fowl. However, most of the turkey trade to Europe came through the Ottoman Empire, also known as…
The Turkish Empire.
And that’s why we call a turkey a turkey.
And for those celebrating today, Happy Turkey Day!