talk turkey


to speak honestly

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“The Guardian view on silence about Brexit: time to TALK TURKEY”

The Guardian - Editorial Headline

Did you
know?

talk turkey
informal - US

- to discuss something honestly and directly
- to speak frankly and get down to the basic facts of a matter

Cambridge Dictionary / American Heritage Dictionary

---
ORIGIN

Turkey, the large fowl that traditionally ends up on English tables at Christmas, and on American tables at Thanksgiving, got its name by mistake.

In the mid 16th century, near east traders (called turkey merchants) began exporting guinea fowls (Perlhühner) to England from Madagascar via Turkey.

Around the same time, the larger North American bird that had been domesticated by the Aztecs found its way to Spain, and thus to other parts of Europe, by way of North Africa and Turkey. This resulted in the bigger bird getting the common name “turkey” instead of the guinea fowl.

How the turkey morphed into an American idiom is unclear. One theory is that when English settlers first had contact with Native Americans, much of the conversation centred around the trading of turkeys, thus suggesting that the Indians would enquire as to whether they had come to “talk turkey”.

Another more likely theory is that it simply stems from the conversation held at the Thanksgiving holiday dinner table.



TALKING TURKEY

Joe Hutto has learned the language of turkeys, and can talk with them using their specific calls. Listen to 3-minutes of BBC Earth by searching “Learning to Speak Turkey” on YouTube.


SYNONYMS

get down to brass tacks, get down to business, get to the nitty-gritty, get to the point, mince no words, make no bones about something, not beat around the bush, not pull your punches, put your cards on the table, TALK TURKEY


SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“Hey,… let’s TALK TURKEY about the terms and conditions of my contract.”


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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