As Americans sit down to enjoy Thanksgiving this year, the most common food item found on dinner tables will be turkey.
In fact, according to the National Turkey Federation, nearly 90% of Americans eat the bird (whether roasted, baked or deep-fried) on Thanksgiving, which equates to 46 million turkeys eaten all for one Holiday!
With such a massive portion of our U.S. population enjoying a meal centered around turkey, it got us thinking about the term “talk turkey.”
WHY do we use this term, and where does it come from?
In our fast-paced world, we often find ourselves “talking turkey” – even when we don’t realize that we are. We’re quick to cut to the chase when we talk or send an email, speak in abbreviated terms and are even limited to the characters posted on Twitter – all because people are busy, the world moves fast, and our attention spans are only capable of absorbing so much.
So, where does the term “talk turkey” come from? Let’s start with the modern-day.
According to Cambridge Dictionary, “talk turkey” is defined as “to discuss something honestly and directly.”
Today the term “talk turkey” means to discuss something frankly and practically. When someone ‘talks turkey’ they get to the point and the term often refers to settling a business deal.
But that wasn’t always the case.
The origin of “talk turkey” is, at the earliest, recorded from colonial times. Dictionary entries from the 1800s show that the term was used in a variety of ways – and that “talking turkey” meant both talking about something pleasant (possibly referring to the dinner conversations that occur during a Thanksgiving feast) and talking in a silly manner (like the weird way turkey’s walk and act).
Historical accounts suggest the modern meaning of the phrase came about from the day-to-day bartering between colonists and Indians over wild turkeys. An account of the tale comes from an 1837 article in the Niles’ Weekly Register where a local Indian man and a colonial man bargain over a turkey and crow, only to shut the bargain down fast when they began to disagree. The swift and quick message behind the term was used to cut the bartering short and to-the-point – which is how we now use it in modern day conversation.
This Thanksgiving, the team at World Synergy hopes that you take time for your friends, family, left-overs, and, of course, turkey. Don’t just talk it, enjoy it!