V: Turkey

The many moods of snoods.

V: Turkey
Photo by Viktor Talashuk / Unsplash

Good morning. Today is quintidi, the 15th of Brumaire, Year CCXXXI. We celebrate le dindon, North America's favorite feast fowl.

The quintessential fun fact about turkeys is their near-miss at being the national bird of the United States instead of the bald eagle. This is attributed to some lobbying by none other than Benjamin Franklin. Truth is, the turkey was never proposed, and the legend originates with a letter Franklin wrote to his daughter making fun of the Great Seal's original design, saying the eagle looked like a turkey. He continued to write that, unlike the "lazy" eagle, the turkey is, "though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage." Franklin's actual proposal for the Great Seal? Moses drowning the Pharaoh's army in the Red Sea. He, like, really hated the British.

For thousands of years, European women have worn snoods. These usually come in the style of loosely woven hairnets used to contain a bun or a bundle or hair behind their head, though total head covering versions made of yarn and lined with cloth also exist for religious purposes. Basically anything that covers hair and has obvious ropes or strings as the main part of its construction is a snood.

The word "snood" has been traced back to proto-Germanic as a word for "string" or "rope" that is specificially used to tie back hair. It's the prehistoric scrunchie. But it's the association with a strand of material that led to it being applied to that thing dangling off a turkey's beak.