From: "Gary Boivin" <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: [METISGEN-L] Turcotte From Libby's Cousine Judy
Date: Sat, 30 Nov 2002 21:27:40 -0700
In the old archives one will find the name written many ways. TORQUO, TOURQUO, TURCO, TURCOT, and TURCAULT
I have read that the name came from a bird but have never found the bird listed anywhere in any biology book. But then... It might have gone the way of the Do-Do bird before people were keeping records of such things --- The French do not have a good reputation when it comes to caring for nature or the environment.
There are some researchers that believe that their ancestor was a foreign or mercenary soldier that gained French status in the army. "Turco" was the adjective used to describe an Infantryman from French allies. On the field of battle "Les Turcos" were sent forth in advance of the regular soldiers. They were the ones involved in skirmishes with the enemy... This started in the days before guns and were still used into the 19th century. A "turco" that served his stint in the army was then recognized as a French Citizen or "Free Man". Today we use the word "tirailleur".
Today... The word "turco" comes into the language through the Algerian influence... Is commonly used by those that speak the Algerian "patois" or "sabir". This is similar to the term "Creole" except that it is a mixture of French and the local Algerian dialects (not Arabic) similar to Twareg --- I've met people who speak it and understood parts of it... like CrÃ©ole). It is also used to describe the Algerian Infantry.
Here is the progression in the name pronunciation: TURCAULT = TURR-KOE (Rhymes with the garden tool HOE ) TURCOT = TURR-KOE (same as above... The "T" is silent) TURCOTTE = TURR-CAUGHT (rhymes with sleeping cot) This is how we say the name in North America today. I've never found it this way in France.