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For Thanksgiving, let’s talk turkey!

Meleagris gallopavo (Wild Turkey)

Wild Turkey - so would you be in his place!

So today is the day when millions of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving and millions of turkeys, well, don’t. But then in the UK, the turkeys shouldn’t be celebrating, because they’re only a month away from the same fate. Moving away from the nutritional aspects, let’s see what the bird has done for the English language

For starters, let’s TALK TURKEY, meaning to talk about something openly and directly. It seems that originally, real turkeys were talked about:

There are various stories about the origin of to talk turkey. One version is that a white man was talking to an Indian about dividing the game from a hunt: “You take the crow (or buzzard) and I’ll take the turkey, or I’ll take the turkey and you take the crow (or buzzard).” The Indian realized the white man was not talking turkey–he was not telling the plain truth. Another theory is that to talk turkey derives from the hunter’s practice of making a gobbling noise so that the stupid turkey answers him with a gobble and gives away its whereabouts.

(from Random House Word of the Day)

Another variation of this expression is to TALK COLD TURKEY, presumably referring to the direct, unadorned nature of leftover turkey. Meanwhile, TO DO SOMETHING COLD TURKEY or TO GO COLD TURKEY means to stop doing something immediately. Originally this referred to drug use, but nowadays it can mean any habit, such as smoking 😉

Nice link – John Lennon song “Cold Turkey” on Last Fm.

What else can you do with turkey? (The question on many housewives’ minds this week). You could always take part in a TURKEY SHOOT:

A turkey shoot is an opportunity for an individual or a party to very easily take advantage of a situation. It also implies that the “shooter” can’t lose.

A “turkey shoot” is also a shooting contest where frozen turkeys are awarded as prizes. The shoot is most commonly held, using shotguns aimed at paper targets about 25-35 yards away. Original turkey shoots, however, dating at least to the time of James Fenimore Cooper, were contests in which live turkeys were tied down in a pen and shot from 25-35 yards.[1] If the turkey died, the shooter received it as a prize. This gave rise to the military term (see below). Today, turkey shoots are still popular in rural America. The winner is chosen according to which target has a shot closest to its center cross-mark. This removes almost all skill from the contest, and allows every shooter an equal chance.

In military situations, a turkey shoot occurs when a group or team catch the enemy off-guard or out-gunned to the point of being unfair. Examples of famous military turkey shoots:

* Battle of the Crater — American Civil War

* Great Marianas Turkey Shoot — World War II, The Battle of the Philippine Sea

* Operation Mole Cricket 19 — 1982 Lebanon War

* Highway of Death — Gulf War

“Turkey shooting” is also used to indicate the process of troubleshooting a problem in a non-logical, or non-methodical approach, by trying random stuff until the problem goes away.

From Wikipedia

Finally, a few odd bits of turkey. If you have a TURKEY’S NEST in your house, you’d better think hard about doing some housework. If your opinion of the latest movie or play you’ve seen is far from great, you might consider it to be A TURKEY. And if watching yet another Matt Damon movie seems rather suicidal and a death-wish, it would be LIKE TURKEYS VOTING FOR CHRISTMAS (UK turkeys, of course!). Have a great time!

Strange Random Thanksgiving Quote:

Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.- Johnny Carson

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  1. November 25, 2010 at 5:31 pm
  2. November 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm

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