1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Corn

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CORN (a common Teutonic word; cf. Lat. granum, seed, grain), originally meaning a small hard particle or grain, as of sand, salt, gunpowder, &c. It thus came to be applied to the small hard seed of a plant, as still used in the words barley-corn and pepper-corn. In agriculture it is generally applied to the seed of the cereal plants. It is often locally understood to mean that kind of cereal which is the leading crop of the district; thus in England it refers to wheat, in Scotland and Ireland to oats, and in the United States to maize (Indian corn). See Grain Trade; Corn Laws; Agriculture; Wheat; Maize; &c.

The term “corned” is given to a preparation of meat (especially beef) on account of the original manner of preserving it by the use of salt in grains or “corns.”