Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Meal Quiz: What's the Hebrew Connection to the Word "Turkey"?

Shalom Girls & Boys:
I'm flying in early because I know you're on vacation AND I have an important Thanksgiving question to ask: Is there a Hebrew connection to the word turkey (as in fowl)?

I couldn't believe my wings when I found out this little tidbit. Christopher Columbus thought that the New World was connected to India, so he called this fine feathered friend tuka -- which means peacock in India's Tamil language. Now hold on. I know I said there's a Hebrew connection, but I think it's a double one -- to English and to Tamil.  Here goes. Legend has it that turkey merchants in Spain -- the same country that sent Columbus on his way -- changed the Tamil word to the Hebrew word tukki -- which means parrot in Hebrew -- and that this word eventually evolved into turkey. It certainly makes sense to me. Say these two words out loud and hear how similar they sound. Go ahead. TUKKI.  TURKEY.

Want an even funnier coincidence? How do you say turkey in modern Hebrew? Hodu.

Is there another meaning to the word hodu?
The answer is "yes." It means we give thanks -- as in Thanksgiving. It's also the Hebrew name for the country India, and isn't that where Columbus thought he was heading?

You get it girls and boys?  However you slice it -- the words not the bird -- there is definitely a Hebrew connection to the Thanksgiving holiday. Ask people descended from the Puritans. They should know.

I could just gobble up all this information.  Hey. Wait a minute.  Isn't the word gobble connected to Thanksgiving as well? I mean, isn't that the main word in the vocabulary of a turkey?

Uh oh.  I think someone's getting ready to swat me.

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