Corn beef / corned beef

SwissPete

Senior Member
Français (CH), AE (California)
Is there a difference (linguistically) between "corn beef" and "corned beef"?

Thank you for enlightening me.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think "corned beef" is what's correct, but the "-ed" tends to get elided in pronunciation. Not to be confused with corn-fed beef, which would be something entirely different.
     

    Lily-of-the-Valley

    Member
    English - Canada
    In the Cambridge Dictionary I can only find "corned beef," and indeed I have only ever heard of corned beef! Merriam-Webster, on the other hand, contains corn beef. I believe that the latter is used in America, whereas in England people say corned beef. In all the British writers I have ever read, corned beef was always used--never corn beef.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In the Cambridge Dictionary I can only find "corned beef," and indeed I have only ever heard of corned beef! Merriam-Webster, on the other hand, contains corn beef. I believe that the latter is used in America, whereas in England people say corned beef. In all the British writers I have ever read, corned beef was always used--never corn beef.
    If you heard me say it aloud you'd probably say that I was saying "corn beef," although I understand it to be and write it "corned beef."
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Large grains of salt are known as corns of salt, just as one speaks of large grains of pepper as peppercorns. From this use comes the transitive verb "to corn", meaning "to preserve or season with salt in grains", and thus also " to cure or preserve in brine containing preservatives and often seasonings." Beef that has been corned in brine is corned beef, just as beets that have been pickled in vinegar are pickled beets, or ham that has been preserved by smoking is smoked ham. Most Americans are aware that the dish is corned beef, and both spell it and say it that way. However, there are many who spell words based on sloppy pronunciation and who don't know what "corned" means, and it is likely that they say "corn beef."
     
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