Okay the Turkey is an American bird, but it was in Europe that it got its name we know it by.
Europeans sailed to America, killed some brown people, took big birds home, watched them spread around Europe and when people would ask, hey this isn’t lamb - where does this come from? Knowledgeable people would respond, Uh, I dunno, somewhere east I think, Turkey or India?
And so it became the Turkey bird or the India bird, and found itself back on ships sailing to America where Europeans visited brown people in little reservations to say things like, hey, you should try some of this, especially now with it being Thanksgiving and all; I think you’d like it. It’s called turkey.
Technically America right now is Turkeyed In. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and most of America will gorge itself on talking about food. They will eat 2 slices of Turkey. A month later it will be Christmas and the Turkey will not be so popular on the dinner plates of America. Beef and other meats will take the seasonal pride of place. Because people will profess to be Turkeyed Out. Oh I couldn’t possibly eat another piece of Turkey; I had a slice 4 weeks ago. I’m Turkeyed Out.
This of course is all part of the American tradition of enormous hype and build up to something that either doesn’t take place at all, or it might as well not such is the brevity and huge underkill of the event. I have been to parties in the Midwest, talked about in advance for 2 months, that start at 7 in the evening, are flying very quickly, and then are over completely by 8 o’clock. Yes, 8 in the evening. The same evening.
If you go to, say the pub for example, and consume 3 diet cokes in 2 hours, you are then allowed to not do anything remotely social the next day because you are now Partied Out.
You have to be careful how you step in the Midwest or you can find yourself partied out without knowing it. Perhaps you thought you were just going to the bathroom. Or to the shops to pick up a bit of milk and some deodorant. But should you converse with anybody in between - then you are quite possibly partying, albeit unwittingly, rendering yourself unable to party the next night. Or to go to the bathroom.
To understand this from an Irish perspective you have to be aware that 3 or more people in one place at the same time in the middle of America is technically a party, whereas in Ireland such groupings are called bus-stops. Or in less formal circumstances, conversations.
But anyway, turkey. Originally Christmas in Ireland for me involved the big dinner with turkey (and ham etc.). And because your parents were younger and had more energy, dinner was early. So later on in the day you had your tea. Tea was a cold meal with turkey (and ham etc.) And because your parents were younger and drank more, and 2001: A Space Odyssey lasted for ever, then the sandwiches were made. They of course were made with turkey (and ham etc.).
So there in one day as a child I consumed the amount of turkey I would normally consume in three years as an adult in America. And was I Turkeyed Out? There is no such phrase. For the day after Christmas is St. Stephen’s Day. And you do it all over again. The very same meals.
Eventually you grow up and assert your independence from your family and visit other families of a Stephen’s Day. But all you have done is swap the faces at the table. On the plates in these other homes you still see turkey (and ham etc.) and turkey (and ham etc.) sandwiches.
Now the next day, December 27th, you are allowed to groan, but you will eat what you are given. And what you are given is as many turkey (and ham) sandwiches that can be extracted from the remains of the bird. And then the awkward shaped turkey pieces that won’t lie on bread so easily - for Irish sandwiches do not reach the skyscraping heights of American ones - are used to make the annual seasonal Christmas curry.
Of course by now you know what is coming next. Yes, the family is tired of big sit-down formal dinners, with lots of food on plates to eat. So the carcass is used to make turkey soup. And it makes so much that it lasts for 2 or 3 days.
And through it all nobody says, I’m Turkeyed Out. Which is just as well, for in my family the mother likes a formal meal on New Year’s Day. And the turkeys are usually a bit cheaper.