Madam S
Is "Corn" and "Maize" exactly the same in the US? I read somewhere: "In many countries, corn is the name given to the leading crop grown in certain districts. In England it is wheat, while in Scotland and Ireland, it relates to oats. In the Bible, corn is nothing but wheat and barley. In USA and Canada corn and maize are one and the same, and is meant for the plant that produces kernels used for cooking.  However, the term corn is preferred over maize for food products that are made from it, such as corn flour, corn starch, cornmeal etc. However, with regard to commodity trading, corn is only maize, and does not include any other grains. In culinary, the corn is generally mentioned as sweet corn, popcorn, cornflakes, baby corn, dent corn, flint corn, flour corn, and waxy corn. It is the main component of canned corn, baby food, mush, puddings, and many other human foods." I want to make sure whether people of US use Corn and Maize interchangeably or not? Thanks for your response.
Sep 2, 2018 8:47 PM
Answers · 13
I really only use the term “corn,” especially on the day to day. The only times I’ve ever used “maize” was in school when we were learning history and talked about growing maize, and that was only because the textbook used the term “maize.” Otherwise, I always use “corn.” Hope that helps!
September 2, 2018
The passage you quoted is correct. In the United States, corn = maize = Zea mays. Zea mays grows in "ears." It has a green "husk" outside, and yellow kernels on a "cob" inside. Corn always means Zea mays and nothing else. Zea mays is almost always called "corn," very rarely "maize." "Corn" and "maize" are exactly the same thing in the US. If you see the word "corn" in US English, it means maize. We rarely use the word "maize." When we do it tends to be in the context of the kinds of corn that were eaten by Native Americans ("Indians"). "Maize" also tends to be used by anthropologists and scholars, because it means the same thing in the US and UK. "Maize" can also be a color name. The last time I heard the word was at my wife's graduation, at a big state university. The tassels on the mortarboards had different colors for each department, and the School of Agriculture's tassels were maize.
September 3, 2018
Before the discovery of America, the English word 'corn' meant any type of grain: wheat, barley, oats, all of them starchy staple crops. Maize was then unknown in Europe. Early European settlers took seedcorn with them to the Americas, but were not successful in growing from it there. The local inhabitants provided them with a substitute, maize, which they dubbed 'Indian corn', and this is how maize came to be known in AmEng as 'corn'. When wheat and other grains were successfully introduced much later, they were no longer identified with or referred to as corn. Meanwhile, back in Europe, pedantic speakers of BrEng (including me!) still prefer to call it 'maize' or 'sweetcorn' to avoid confusion with 'real' corn, though I think it is fair to say that American usage is gradually replacing British; we eat Corn Flakes for breakfast, but we know they aren't made of oats.
September 2, 2018
In the UK Maize is referred to as Sweetcorn or Corn on the cob. This is what is printed on the tins/cans in shops and supermarkets. Our Corn crops of wheat are used mainly for biscuit making, and flour production. Our corn crops of barley are grown for Brewing beer and cattle feed.
September 2, 2018
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