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Author Topic: Wheat versus corn  (Read 671 times)

Offline jacquesdor

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Wheat versus corn
« on: 18 January, 2018, 11:31:40 AM »
Does anyone know the difference ? I have seen great fields of corn, golden in the sun. I have also ( I am sure) seen great fields of wheat glowing golden in the sun. Both are used to make flour. Apart from the American use of corn to describe maize, can anyone tell me what is the difference ?

Offline siasl

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Re: Wheat versus corn
« Reply #1 on: 18 January, 2018, 01:15:19 PM »
I always thought that "corn" was a shortened form of "sweetcorn" used to indicate the maize plant which can be ground up to make cornflour and is harvested much later than sweetcorn.

This is distinct from wheat flour which is made from wheat.

Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: Wheat versus corn
« Reply #2 on: 18 January, 2018, 05:30:59 PM »
I always thought that "corn" was a shortened form of "sweetcorn" used to indicate the maize plant which can be ground up to make cornflour and is harvested much later than sweetcorn.
yThis is distinct from wheat flour which is made from wheat.How many plagues mentioned in the book of Exodus in the Bible were cause by insects?e of corn ie a 'wheat' plant?

Yes but Siasl...In England and in English we have had 'cornfields' for centuries, at least for two centuries before America was discovered.

I think the difference between 'corn' and 'wheat' might simply be that 'corn' is the generic word whereas 'wheat' refers to a specific type of corn...ie a 'wheat' plant?


I have just double-checked on the historic origins of the words 'corn' and 'wheat' - and The Online Etymology site says the following about 'corn' and 'wheat' - and would seem to support my idea of 'corn' being a generic word.

Please note
I have edited down, added an underlining, and have deleted some superfluous text. The full original texts can be accessed via either of the two web links at the foot of my answer.

"Corn - meaning "grain", originally comes from Old English* ...meaning "small seed"...and from its even earlier PIE root** gre-no = "grain."
The sense of the Old English word was "grain with the seed still in" (as in barleycorn) rather than a particular plant.
"

* Old English is the form of English used in Britain up until about a century or two after the Norman invasion of 1066.
**  PIE = Proto-Indo-European language ie the hypothetical early common ancestor of all the Indo-European languages.


Whereas Online Etymology says this about the word 'wheat'...

"Wheat -....from Old Saxon hweti, Norwegian kveite, ...Dutch weit, Old High German weizzi,...literally "that which is white" (in reference to the grain or the flour) and from PIE ...kweit- "to shine" ...

All of which makes it as clear as custard that 'corn' equals 'a grain' and thus a cornfield is a field of wheat with the grain still in - whereas 'wheat' is 'that which is white'.  QED?


https://www.etymonline.com/word/corn
https://www.etymonline.com/word/wheat




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Offline jacquesdor

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Re: Wheat versus corn
« Reply #3 on: 21 January, 2018, 02:31:43 PM »
Thank you for your reply and your research, still a wee bit baffled, but it is more clear.