Eater's Notes - Turkey Words

Medieval history adds fun to the holiday meal!
     My students will tell you that I got on a bit of a word-bender the past couple of days with a fun quiz (well, it was fun for me, and it didn't go into the grade book) about words for animals -- that is, the terms for a given animal in a group, the male and female of the species, and the young.  For instance, if we're talking about cats, the group name is a clowder, the male is a tom, the female is a queen, and the young is a kitten.
     With Thanksgiving upon us, I hereby make the suggestion that we use the corresponding terms in relation to the turkey --who, as a group are called a rafter, as a male a gobbler, as a female a hen, and as young, a poult.  I particularly like the first term, as in, "I'm so hungry I could eat a rafter of turkeys."  And then, perhaps, you would be banished to sit with the kiddies and have to contend with fitting your knees under the edge of the folding card table.
     I would also suggest another act of lexicographical tomfoolery. In your best know-it-all voice, pronounce to the table, "It's a little known fact that Thanksgiving was originally established as a holiday by the Holy Roman Empire after the Concordat of Worms in 1122, in memory of one of the great martyrs of the age, Meleagris Gallopovo, who, sadly, was pecked to death by pagan gamefowl." Or make up your own facts.  Look up the name of my martyr and you'll see the joke.  Let me know how that works out for you.
     Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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