Talk turkey, Santa
"WHILE many still have and will have lots left over, whence the origin of talk turkey?" was the Christmas query from Jim Rogers .
This phrase is linked, despite the obvious differences between them, to the term cold turkey.
The idea behind cold turkey is that heroin addicts who quit suddenly get so pale and covered with goose bumps that their skin looks like that of an uncooked turkey. But the phrase, which one source says dates from 1916, originally meant "get down to business without preliminaries".
It came from talk turkey, which means to cut out the nonsense and talk plainly.
Wordsmith Nigel Rees has said this first appeared in America when the Pilgrim Fathers always seemed to want turkeys when they traded with the Indians. After a zillion roundabout approaches the Indians got sick of it and would greet them with: "You want to talk turkey?"
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