words / writing

What Does the Word ‘Turkey’ Mean?

arg-scrollurl-turkey-url‘Perspective’ is a tricky concept. When you’re writing, it’s easy to forget that words don’t always mean the same to others as they do to you. Here’s a poll I use in my classes to get students thinking about perspective-taking, but it works just as well for we-writers to see the confusion that can result from what we might think is clear. Check all the definitions of the word ‘turkey’ that apply to you and leave me a comment with what is the most obvious definition (from your perspective).

When you checked the results, were you surprised?


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

58 thoughts on “What Does the Word ‘Turkey’ Mean?

  1. I took the poll, but the results may have been skewed. I spent part of my morning watching the turkeys. We have a flock of them–about 25–that traipse across the property each morning and evening. Recently, they’ve teamed up with another bunch and we’ve been trying to count the lot of them. No so easy. Those turkeys can move pretty quickly, and change direction. So, at least for this morning, turkey means “bird.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: let’s talk Turkey | itkindofgotawayfromyou

  3. I’m not a big fan of gamey tasting food, and I find turkey gamey (my word, lol) I don’t like cooking turkeys and Thanksgiving and Christmas are plenty enough times a year for me to have to indulge. Sorry, to me turkey is Thanksgiving and Christmas, although it is a bird too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I never think of the country of Turkey when I hear the word turkey , although when I hear the country name I know it’s there ; and I’ve used the phrase ” talk turkey ” once , only once , about 30 years ago , after I got fired —– as in ” Let’s talk turkey…… ” , which began my chewing the guy out for unfairness .

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I checked every answer except the one about bowling. However, as each subsequent category was checked, the previous answers were deleted. Not sure if that’s my computer glitch or yours, but if yours, it will certainly impact your poll.

    (I’m not even sure if bowling strikes are good or bad – LOL)

    This was fun to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think this was my fault. I seem to have programmed the poll wrong–I believe it’s fixed. But–you’re right. The idea that different people hear different things when we say ‘turkey’ is the point. Thanks for weighing in!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As Thanksgiving not a hol Down Under (sob, sob) – as we have Turkey for Christmas Day – the word to me immediately signifies “stupidity” or goggle gobble as in something like saying “You Turkey” / like an insult …. stupid….silly…BUT on dinner table not that at all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m not surprised by thanksgiving being top spot but I thought the failure meaning would have been higher. If I hadn’t seen the word written but just heard it I think I would have thought of the country first and foremost – capitals are so important in our ‘translation’ of words. Interesting and fun poll, Jacqui.

    Liked by 1 person

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