Talk:corn

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corns[edit]

Are sweet corn, sugar corn, and green corn synonyms or something slightly different? Is Indian corn obsolete or just archaic? I'm marking it obs. until somebody knows better. — Hippietrail 15:20, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Indian corn is neither obsolete or archaic. It is in common contemporary usage. Googling "indian corn" returned 431,000 hits. User:LeoS Feb 10, 2007
In Great Britain sweetcorn is used as "corn" is in the USA. i.e. The fruits of maize when served (usually boiled) as a dish or the maize plants themselves. It is "sweet" in comparison to wheat, oats, etc.

Corn as transitive verb[edit]

In a work of fiction, I read the sentence: "They set to work corning the powder." The sense of this was that the (gun)powder had become a solid mass due to wetting, and the workers were manually pounding it or grinding it to pellets of a uniform size.

What I do when I find such things is to add them to a citations page. You can see how they work at Category:Citations. Also pose a question on Wiktionary:Tea room. When somebody comes up with a sense they can use the citation you found in the article. — Hippietrail 17:41, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Repeat definitions?[edit]

Isn't the definition, "maize," the same as the definition, "(U.S.) A cultivated grain originating in the Americas that grows on thick leafy stalks in large grain clusters called 'ears'. Some varieties are eaten fresh as a vegetable and other varieties are dried and used as a grain"? Theshibboleth 20:23, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

To me those are definitely the same. Perhaps somebody was confusing differing usage and differing senses. — Hippietrail 03:48, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Corn (bunion)[edit]

This meaning of the word is missing

It's a callus. A bunion is different, its is a swelling of a joint on a toe. Jonathan Webley 12:35, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Non-IE/UK English[edit]

Given that previous writers on this page established that in the US, "corn" means maize and in the UK and Ireland, "corn" means grain, these searches survey the use of "corn" by Google in the other countries with at least one million native English speakers or at least ten million total English speakers, including Trinidad and Tobago, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Poland, and China (People's Republic of) by doing the regular search in English, then appending "&meta=cr%3Dcountry" and a capitalized ttLD code to end of the old URL and then going to the new URL. Based on the short preview given in each search, the results employing "sweet corn" or "corn (sweet)" are excluded as ambiguous and those about foot calluses are excluded as irrelevant but each are included in the count to maintain NPOV. Similarly sub-results and image results are excluded to avoid doubling single sources but neither are included in the count. :)--Thecurran 08:02, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Canada[edit]

Excluding no hits, the Canadian top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

While the second one employs "corn" only in the label name, "Peanuts & Corn Records", it implies maize in the phrase, "peanuts and corn", which when googled gives results about maize like time.com, etc and when WP-searched gives results about maize like w:Shona people. The other four explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 06:40, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Australia[edit]

Excluding the three "sweet corn" hits and the three foot callus hits in between, the Australian top five are, as found on today's results 1-10 & 11-20:

All five explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 06:18, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

South Africa[edit]

Excluding no hits, the South African top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

While the fifth one employs "corn" only in the term "corn snake", it implies maize as w:corn snakes are so-named because "they have a maize-like pattern on their bellies and because they were found in corn fields". The other four explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 07:46, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Philippines[edit]

Excluding no hits, the Filipino top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

All five explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 08:02, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

New Zealand[edit]

Excluding the two "sweet corn" hits and the two foot callus hits in between, the New Zealand top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

While the third one employs "corn" only as a literal device, it implies maize in the phrase, "rising up like the frigid stalks of fountains", in the first sentence. The other four explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 06:31, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Jamaica[edit]

Excluding the one "corn (sweet)" hit, which came first, the Jamaican top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

While the third one employs "corn" only in the name of a poorly documented Jamaican community called "Corn Piece", it implies maize in the idea of a piece of maize. The other four explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 08:24, 22 October 2009 (UTC) :)--Thecurran 14:40, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Trinidad and Tobago[edit]

Excluding the one foot callus hit, the Trinidad and Tobago top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

All five explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 09:59, 22 October 2009 (UTC) :)--Thecurran 14:17, 22 October 2009 (UTC) :)--Thecurran 14:45, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

India[edit]

Excluding no hits, the Indian top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

While the second one employs "corn" only as a literal device, it implies grain in the phrase, "seed corn". The other four explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 08:29, 22 October 2009 (UTC) :)--Thecurran 08:36, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Nigeria[edit]

Excluding no hits, the Nigerian top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

While the third one employs "corn" only in the term, "guinea corn", it implies grain as sorghum is more like wheat than maize. The other four explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 08:45, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Germany[edit]

Excluding no hits, the German top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

While the third one is unclear it seems to imply grain with its image. The other four explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 14:26, 22 October 2009 (UTC) :)--Thecurran 14:26, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

France[edit]

Excluding no hits, the French top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

While the first one uses "corn" as simply an acronym, it implies neither meaning outside of the some traditions that associate chickens with eating maize. The other four explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 14:38, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Pakistan[edit]

Excluding the one "sweet corn", which comes first, the Pakistani top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

All five explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 08:53, 22 October 2009 (UTC) :)--Thecurran 15:19, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Italy[edit]

Excluding no hits, the Italian top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

While the first one is very unclear on what it means by "corn", my guess is that it is more likely to be grain. The fourth explicitly refers to grain when it mentions "corn". The other three explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 15:07, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Japan[edit]

Excluding no hits, the Japanese top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

All five explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 15:14, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Netherlands[edit]

Excluding no hits, the Dutch top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

The first one uses "corn" as an acronym, so implies neither meaning excepting traditions that associate chickens with eating maize. The third one is about bromeliads, so my best guess would be that it might imply maize. The last one is about the "Edinburgh Corn Exchange", so it implies grain. The other two explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 15:31, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Spain[edit]

Excluding no hits, the Spanish top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

All five explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 15:36, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Turkey[edit]

Excluding no hits, the Turkish top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

All five explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 15:41, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Poland[edit]

Excluding no hits, the Polish top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

The second one uses "corn" as a programming language and humourously refers to a "corn kernel", implying maize. The third is a jeweller whose best-seller is a £ 1281.00 gold ring with 280 zircons, implying maize. The fourth is a my-space layout that resembles farmed fields of maize. The other two explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. :)--Thecurran 15:58, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

China, People's Republic of[edit]

Excluding no hits, the Chinese top five are, as found on today's results 1-10:

While the fifth one uses "corn" only as something that looks similar to the "com" of internet domain names, it cannot be attributed to imply either meaning of "corn". The other four explicitly refer to maize when "corn" is mentioned. While the first one explicitly states that the grain meaning of "corn" is confined to British English, it explicitly states that the maize meaning of "corn" constitutes the worldwide rule, not the exception. :)--Thecurran 09:07, 22 October 2009 (UTC) :)--Thecurran 10:17, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Conclusion[edit]

Especially when the US is added to this list, it encompasses not only most of the English speakers of the world, native or not, but most of the people of the world. The data refutes that the meaning of "corn" in English is more often grain than maize. It highlights that outside of the Ireland and the UK, there are some compound terms that employ the archaic grain meaning of "corn" like "sweet corn", "seed corn", and "guinea corn" but that on its own, "corn" rarely means grain as opposed to maize. :)--Thecurran 16:07, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Great job. It's hard to be definitive about such a thing, but your evidence is the best we have. We usually use google news for current regional English differences, because the resulting citations are deemed durably archived and usable as citations. The archive also goes back to the 19th century, at least for the US and Australia. DCDuring TALK 10:55, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
And yet someone removed maize and left the generic grain definition. I'm not sure why you had to go to so much trouble, either. The UK's own site favors maize to grain – albeit to such an extent principally owing to American-related links, but the British links are peculiar in their own right. Why on earth is "corn exchange" a synonym for "theater"? LlywelynII 04:41, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Probably because a "commodity exchange" sounds like a big important deal, and a "corn exchange" because it’s a place where large volumes of popcorn are bought and consumed. —Stephen (Talk) 05:13, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I learnt English in school in Germany. To me personally corn would mean cereal, not maize. But nevermind. What I wanted to say is that there is a US country song by Luke Bryan that goes: Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey. Now I'm wondering. Whiskey isn't made from maize, is it? Or does he really mean maize here? (The only way we use maize in Germany is in salads, so I don't even know what you can make of it. But whiskey??)
Another thing that came to my mind just now. I don't know how most English-speaking Germans would understand the word "corn" today. But at least 65 years ago they thought of it as "grain" or "cereal". There's this story that after WWII, the Germans asked the Americans for "corn". So they sent them maize, which amazed the Germans because they couldn't use it... I mean they did use it of course, but maize bread is still something that old people mention as one of the things they had to endure during the war times...
Corn whiskey (also called white lightning) is an American liquor made from a mash that is comprised of at least 80% maize. Americans call maize corn (we use the word maize only for antique varietals such as blue corn that are grown and used by Native Americans), and in American English, corn means maize, not cereal or grain. The British are the ones who call cereal/grain corn.
Rye whiskey, on the other hand, is made from a mash that is at least 51% rye. (The other ingredients of the rye whiskey mash are usually maize and malted barley.)
When I lived in Germany (in the 1960s and ’70s), Germans did not eat maize on salads or in other other way. Maize was considered to be only for livestock (pigs, etc.). Human beings, according to Germans of that era, did not eat maize. When I lived in Gartow (on the Elbe River), my landlord used to buy maize from the farmers around Gartow and cook it for the American soldiers. Germans were very surprised that anyone would choose to eat maize. —Stephen (Talk) 02:54, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! (I was the one who asked that question a long time ago...) Yes. As I said, maize is still not very common in Germany (among human beings). We do sometimes eat it in salads now, but that's all. It's considered a vegetable, not a form of corn/grain.

Not sure what "not IE" is supposed to mean.[edit]

Entry currently mentions "not IE," but I have no idea what that means. Could someone who knows what it's supposed to mean add a pipelink or spell it out in full if printing costs could still be retained within reasonable limits? Ideally, the entry will be updated. --Bxj 11:40, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Probably "non-Insular English". —Stephen (Talk) 05:24, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Australian usage[edit]

Having grown up and lived in Sydney and Melbourne, I've never heard "corn" being used in everyday life in the UK meaning, only in the US one. Very rarely hear the word "maize" either. You go to Coles or Woolworths, it's called corn. You buy a recipe book, its called corn. To whoever found an Australian government website containing the word "maize", that proves very little - bureaucrats are infamous for unusual word usages which don't reflect that of the majority of the population - they probably chose the word "maize" deliberately to avoid potential ambiguity or confusion or misinterpretation in government regulations. It doesn't mean that the average person calls it maize - most Australians call it corn. 60.225.114.230 12:49, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Countable or not?[edit]

(Etymology 1, Noun): A plural is given, but all three subsenses claims it is uncountable. When is the plural used? \Mike (talk) 05:25, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Whenever corn is not spoken of as an undifferentiated mass, it could be used is the plural. When speaking of different varieties of corn, it is sometimes natural to speak of the many corns that are available. Very few mass nouns cannot be used this way or in some other countable way. For example, consider invention:
As an abstract process it is non-count: "Necessity is the mother of invention.
An instance/event of the process is count: "Were there multiple inventions of fire."
A result of an abstract process: "Edison is credited with hundreds of inventions.
Sometimes the countability only occurs in specialized contexts. Beefs is almost exclusively found among those discussing the later, more industrialized stages of cattle ranching, transport, and slaughter. HTH. DCDuring TALK 09:44, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

"specifically the main such plant grown in a given region"[edit]

This clause is wrong, because in Australia "corn" has the same meaning as the US, and yet the maize corn is not the main cereal crop grown in Australia, wheat is far more prevalent. So by this definition, "corn" must mean "wheat" in Australia, but it doesn't. —This unsigned comment was added by 108.60.121.130 (talk).

Hmm, but (as the definition shows) it does differ by country sometimes. Perhaps we should replace "specifically" in the definition with "especially", or "sometimes". What do you think? Equinox 23:19, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
That would be better. Best would be to split off the regional senses, IMO, perhaps making them subsenses. The current sense 1 is doubly wrong when it refers to America; maize is not (as the definition explicitly claims) the main cereal there, wheat is, and wheat is not (as the definition might imply) called "corn" there — as sense 2 goes on the clarify! Separate matter: how is sense 3 used? Specifically, I'm wondering how "a grain or seed" (emphasis mine) can be uncountable. - -sche (discuss) 00:17, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
I think the uncountable gloss on sense 3 is wrong. Look up "corns of barley" in Google Books. Equinox 00:22, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, now this is interesting and potentially elucidating: Merriam-Webster says the use of "corn" to denote "the grain of a cereal grass that is the primary crop of a region (as wheat in Britain and oats in Scotland and Ireland)" is a British English thing, i.e. that rather than the people of each country calling their principle grain "corn", it is the Brits who call each country's principle grain "corn", while the people of other countries designate specific grains "corn" without regard to how common they are. - -sche (discuss) 01:06, 25 May 2014 (UTC)