How do Turkish call Turkey, the bird ?

Interesting question, eh? Believe it or not, they call it Hindi! And, in the Turkish language, Hindi means Indian. So, a bird that is popularly named after their country is called Indian in their own country. Be mindful that this bird is not native to either Turkey or India. Leave the countries aside for now – they are not even from the same continents.


Despite its abundantly clear origins, America’s, the world mostly attributes it as Indian. These names got the geography wrong by about half a world’s hemisphere. Take, for example, Turks call it Hindi, the French call it Poulet d’inde (Indian chicken), in Latin they call it Gall dindi (Indian chicken), Israelites call it Tarnegol hodu (Indian chicken) Russian as Indiuk, Polish: Indyk.

Some of these names even go to the extent of naming after an Indian city Calicut of Kerala. The Dutch call it Kalkoen, Indonesia: as Ayam kalkun, Danes call it Kalkun, Swedish as Kalkon, German as Kalkuun and Finnish as Kalakuna.

Fantastic! Any thoughts on the reasons behind these nomenclatures?

You can listen to the post, if you prefer that to reading

It’s less likely merchants from Calicut went to the Atlantic Ocean to pick these ugly birds from central America and supply it to these European nations. Why so much confusion. At the least, Indonesians should have known better. They must have seen it being imported from the Pacific rim rather than the Indian ocean.

Copyright 2007 : University of Amsterdam and Leiden university, used under fair use

Is this because Europeans referred to it as bird from Native American Indian? Less likely, as some of these names go to a specific of city or ports.

Is it because the bird looks ugly and strange as us Indians? Maybe?

I assure you that this is not where confusion ends. Egyptians call it Greek while Greek and Scots call it French! Malaysians call it Dutch, while Portuguese call it Peru (finally, the one American country accused). Arabs interestingly call it either Indian or Roman, depending on their mood. Good stuff.

While you are here, did you know English is probably the only language to call pineapple a pineapple? Rest if the world calls it ananas. I grew up calling it ananas in all languages I spoke, including my mother tongue.!

Strange world, eh?

The Only Explanation by

18 thoughts on “How do Turkish call Turkey, the bird ?

          1. Trishikh can mean anything three. It refers to the Holy Trinity of Christianity and the Trident of Lord Shiva in Hinduism. My father was a Hindu and mother a Christian, hence the name is a union of both the religions. Further Trishikh was a great sage, a son of Ravana from the Hindu Epic Ramayana. It also means 3 flames. There are a few other references as well.

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