Turkey - Dumb Person or Bowling Strikes
The word turkey shows up in English not only as the name of a bird! It's also slang for a dumb person, and for bowling 3 strikes in a row. Why is this?
Turkey - a Dumb Bird
First, the poor turkey has been thought of as dumb for centuries. Maybe this is because we've bred its intelligence out of it in order to keep it docile and producing meat for us. Turkeys in the wild are lean, mean fighting machines, quick to defend territory or a mate. They can glide over a mile.
The farm-bread versions can't fly and are much more quiet. In fact, some turkeys have been known to drown in the rain, because they look up in the sky and their nostrils fill with water.
The phrase really took off in the 1970s, and the added "Jive Turkey" was especially used in urban areas.
Turkey - a Bad Investment
Along the same vein, a bad investment in stocks is called a "turkey". Which is sad, because with the huge volume of turkey eaten regularly each year, a real turkey farm is a pretty sound investment!
While some think the turkey is dumb, others think the turkey is full of common sense and wisdom. To "Talk Turkey" is to ignore all of the silly stuff and get right to the main point, to focus on what is important.
Turkey - Bowling 3 Strikes
Turkeys can be lucky! When a bowler gets 3 strikes in a row, it's called a turkey. Two strikes in a row is simply a "double", and four in a row is a "four bagger". The turkey is the only bird to be celebrated in bowling strike lingo!
Turkey - The Country
Turkey is of course a country located in southwest asia. Ankara is its capital.
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