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Culture Corner: Talking Turkey

It's about that time. The American Thanksgiving. Everyone talks about the first Thanksgiving but we linguists want to "talk turkey" about that traditional fowl that graces many a Thanksgiving table- the turkey and its history.

In The Language of Food, author Dan Jurafsky, described how turkeys came to North America and the rest of the world and how it came to be named after a country. The turkey has been around a very long time. The Aztecs ate turkey. Portuguese explorers hid them on their ships to bring them to Europe. Who knew turkeys were such globe trotters!

So, when you are gathered around the table this holiday, instead of talking heated politics with Uncle Louie, maybe you can talk turkey and everyone will be happier because of it.

Bon appetit!


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