The Word Jerky Comes From Quechua

Despite sounding very English to our ears, jerky’s name is far from being Anglo-Saxon in origins—it has its roots in Native American language, much like the delicious snack itself. Jerky is a corrupted form of ch’arki, a Quechua term that means “dried, salted meat”. Quechua was the language spoken by multiple tribes across the South American Andes, including the Inca. Once the European colonizers arrived at the Americas, they found ch’arki to be both delicious and practical for their long oversee journeys, so they adopted it and introduced it to their societies—the rest is history.