acknowledge the corn

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An American expression. In a Congressional debate in 1828 one of the states which claimed to export corn admitted that the corn was actually used to feed hogs, and exported in that form. - Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable 1970 Centenary Edition.


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acknowledge the corn (third-person singular simple present acknowledges the corn, present participle acknowledging the corn, simple past and past participle acknowledged the corn)

  1. (idiomatic) To admit to the truth of the point at issue or to a mistake; to cop a plea; or perhaps to admit to a small error but not a larger one.
    • 1846, Jesse Speight, address to the U.S. Senate:
      I hope he will give up the argument, or to use a familiar phrase acknowledge the corn.
    • 1859, J. Underwood, letter to the editor, Samuel W. Cole (editor), The New England Farmer, Volume 11,
      I should like to take a job of that kind on a wager with him, or any other New Hampshire man, and if I did not come out a little ahead on the "home stretch," why then I would "acknowledge the corn," and own myself beaten.
    • 1880, Parliament of Canada, Official report of the debates of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada:
      Will the hon. gentleman acknowledge the corn? He does not do it. He is non-committal.
    • 1892, The American magazine:
      They had simply to "acknowledge the corn," round up, and — "vamoose"; then, so soon as the soldiers had gone back to the fort, there was no law to prevent their returning.

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