Where did the bird get it’s name? According to numerous sources, the wild turkeys that the colonists encountered were believed to be guinea fowl, otherwise called turkey fowl, which had been brought to England from Africa through the country of Turkey (in the Turkish language spelled Türkiye, pronounced tuhr-key-yeh).
Idioms: To go cold turkey means to quit abruptly anything one is accustomed to. To talk turkey probably first meant to speak agreeably, say nice things, but now refers to speaking frankly or getting down to business. A turkey shoot is an opportunity to easily take advantage of a situation. The following is new to me – don’t even know if it’s still used in Britain or Australia – but it was meant to be funny: like turkeys voting for (an early) Christmas; If people are like turkeys voting for Christmas, Americans can guess, they are ready to sit back and let bad things happen to them.
Another morsel to chew on: how might America have behaved throughout history had Ben Franklin actually objected to the Bald Eagle (who has been known to steal from fellow raptors) as the national bird, and made the suggestion he mentioned in a letter to his daughter? “For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”