Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
From cornfield and meet: early collisions often occurred out in the country alongside a cornfield, rather than the trains passing safely in a station or siding. Originated in the U.S., in use since at least the 19th century.
- (US, rail transport) The accidental head-on collision of two trains.
- 2007: [A 1899 man discovering ragtime:] Now they're writing music that sounds like a cornfield meet. — Eddie Campbell, The Black Diamond Detective Agency, p. 137
- (US, rail transport) Sometimes also used for a near-collision in the same situation.
- (1) head-on collision (all vehicles)
- (1) prairie meet (hobo slang)
- (2) Mexican standoff (railroad jargon)
- CHAPMAN, Robert L., 1986; New Dictionary of American Slang, 3rd edition; Harper & Row, p. 83.
- IRWIN, Godfrey (ed.), 1931; American Tramp and Underworld Slang; London: Scholartis, quoted in "Hobo Terminology", HoboNickels.org: Original Hobo Nickel Society.
- McINTYRE, Terry L., 1969; "The Language of Railroading"; American Speech 44: 243-62.