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Is it Corn, or is it Maize?

By admin ·
There was this woman on tv, I doubt she was Native American, but dressed to resemble one and she said:"You call it corn, but I call it maize" and now I am not sure. Should I still call it "corn" if I am not one of "her people" or should I use the term "Maize"? Additionally, how can I tell whether or not I am one of her people?

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by petemcc In reply to Is it Corn, or is it Maiz ...

To the run of the mill(!) American citizen, it's corn (derived from the English word for grain). To the Taino
Native Americans it was mahiz and to the Spanish explorers it was maiz.

You should call it whatever makes you comfortable, although ifyou ask for maize on the cob at your local produce market, the result may be confusion and hostility from the staff.

As to whether you are one of her people, only you know if you are a television actress, although I suspect not.

By the way,if you go to an Indian restaurant should you order pemmican?

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Pemmican Curry.

by admin In reply to Etymology

Well, evidently, if you buy Mazola it may also be Maize or Maiz or mahiz, I'm not entirely sure which.


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by RDSchaefer In reply to Etymology

I have no idea why we are discussing this, but a little levity makes the night go faster. Anyway, technically, in today's connotation, "corn" is used to refer to the various varieties of consistantly 'white' or 'yellow' kernals while "maize" refersto the 'natural' multi-colored ears. This is analogous to the white-rice/wild-rice varieties.


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Corn or Maize I am all ears!

by juniper In reply to Technically...

To Ralph Schaefer, thought I would make your life go even faster, your comment "little levity" was that in direct relation to the fact that the bread that is made from the corn, sorry, maize can be levened or unlevened? Lets discuss how utterly amazing the world of computing can be instead!

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It's Memorex

by epepke In reply to Is it Corn, or is it Maiz ...

You bored, too?

"Corn" is English for "that damned stuff that we have to eat all winter because we haven't invented refrigeration yet and nothing else that dries out nicely seems to grow around here." So, to Americans, "corn" means maize, while to the English, "corn" means wheat.

Maybe the woman was second-generation English and came to America looking for work, not knowing that "Indian" meant "these people are obviously not from India, but hey, who's going to come and check? It's not as if we had television cameras on the Santa Maria."

By the way, "America" means "some dumb rich guy read the wildly inflated biography of a common seaman named Amerigo Vespucci who in real life never did much."

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Yep. Here's what a Spaniard e-mailed

by admin In reply to It's Memorex

On the subject.

"Columbus corrupted "mahiz" or "mahis" in the Taino dialect to "maiz",
which we in English pronounce "maize".
Corn on the other hand, outside of the US is often a word used
interchangeably with "grain," and which it's argued is a bastardization of
the Latin word "granum," or the Indoeuropean word "grn," meaning small
Corn, Korn, Granum, Grit, Kernal, etc. are all derivatives of "grn."
In other words, the Pilgrims weren't calling corn meaning "maiz/maize,"
but intead calling it "a type of grain."
According to John J. Finan in his 1950 work "Maize in the Great Herbals,"
note there are various 16th and 17th documents that use the term "maize" in
Europe, but these herbal varieties are primarily of two types, one being
from India (Frumentum Indicum) and the other from Turkey (Frumentum Turcicum
or Tuerkische Korn). The Turkish variety resembles the N. American variety,
while the Indian variety that of the Caribbean.
The real question is how did the Maiz/Maize get to Europe from the
Americas? It wasn't just via, as often taught, Columbus. Most authorities
believe maize was introduced into India by the Portuguese in the 16th
In other words, the Pilgrims had prior exposure to Maiz/Maize/Corn in the
So, without calling this woman in question, pompous, I would have to say
she probably doesn't know what she's talking about. In other words an idiot
(unless she was "Hispanic," and from the Caribbean).
It's common knowledge that each Indian tribe had their own word for
maize/maiz. NOTE: In Nahuatl (Aztec) maize is called "centli," in Maya it's
"cor" and in Zapotec it's "rxoa."
In other words, for an American Indian to say that "maize" is their word,
is ridiculous. It's an Englisized version of the Spanish "maiz," which
derived from the Taino's "mahiz" or "mahis.""

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by admin In reply to Yep. Here's what a Spania ...

Actually, it is an American who lives in Spain.

Oh well, at least I'm on topic for once :>

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I'm simply a-maized...

by McKayTech In reply to Yep. Here's what a Spania ...

Or was that too corny?

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by Packratt In reply to I'm simply a-maized...

My people call it corny...


I am not quite certain that any people or persons could be considered as my people, except, perhaps, for my offspring...


My offspring seem too independent to be my people...


I guess that's not what's ment by the term, my people. In any other sense, I guess there is no such thing as my people since I am such a mix of nationalities and races anyway...


This makes me wonder if I should come up with a term that mypeople, (read myself), should call that yellow and white kernelly stuff that grows on a cob and is not so easily digested but tastes rather nice when cooked and smothered with salt and butter.

Corny indeed?

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Technical Corn

by contrapuntally In reply to Well...

As I wander through the maize of possible interpretations of a television actress dressing as one of the indigenous people, presumably, of this continent, and passing herself off as owning (so to speak) either the term maize or the actual grain itself, I too begin to wonder.
I wonder why it's necessary to emphasize the idea that there are different "people". That her "people" are likely different than other people's "people". If one believes in the theory that there is such a thing as macro evolution than **** sapiens (us people) arrived on this ball of dirt between 35 and 50,000 years ago. Supposedly all us people came from a common reptilian root that'd mean that them is us. Therefore I am her "people" too.
Going back a bit further the flowering plants, angiosperms, which made their appearance some 65+ million years ago near the end of the cambrian era and are the family in which grains reside, belonged to no one for many millions of years. I want to know how, if somehow her people are different from my people, her people won the right to claim maize as their own private corn. Was there some great maizefield war that we don't know about?
Recent archeological evidence shows the fossilized grains of corn were found under Mexaco City that date (if you accept current dating methods as being accurate) some
There is no mention of fossalized remains of television actresses dressed in indigenous "people" garb being found at it or any other site.
To clip the tassle on my comments let us look at the latin derivation of Maize - Meaizacoliniculum, meaning; "Human transport vehicle for funny yellow particals found in poop."

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