corn cob after it's eaten / corncob [+ husk]

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susanna76

Senior Member
Romanian
Hi there, I'm drawing a blank. I think it's something I used to know but now it slips my mind. What do you call what remains of a corn cob after the kernels are eaten?

Thanks!
 
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I thought of husk as well, but I looked it up in the dictionary and it tends to refer to the outer waste part of something. Maybe you could use core, on the analogy of an apple?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Mine too:)

    EDIT: although now I think of it, perhaps it's a ... cob?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Yes, it's a corn cob. Before it's eaten, it's an ear of corn. My grandmother probably thought of it as chicken feed, because that's who got it next.
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I looked up husk again, and it gives the following:

    The outer membranous or green envelope of some fruits or seeds, as that of a walnut or an ear of corn.

    wikipedia gives this:
    Husk (or hull) in botany is the outer shell or coating of a seed. It often refers to the leafy outer covering of an ear of maize (corn) as it grows on the plant.

    So then the "husk" here is the dried leafy covering.

    If a corn cob without the corn kernels is still a "corn cob" (which may very well be), what would be some ways to distinguish in writing between the two? "A discarded corn cob" could still have the kernels on. Other ideas?
     
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    Momerath

    Senior Member
    British English
    I vote for cob: corn eqten eaten (damn this azerty keybord) in this way is called "corn on the cob" so if you eat away the corn, you are left with the cob.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    If a corn cob without the corn kernels is still a "corn cob" (which may very well be), what would be some ways to distinguish in writing between the two? "A discarded corn cob" could still have the kernels on. Other ideas?
    There might be a clearer answer in AmE than in BrE, susanna - see Copyright's post 6.

    I don't think I ever use the collocation "corn cob": what I buy is "corn on the cob", what I see growing in fields is "maize".
     
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    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Thank you guys! I guess the explanation is pretty clear if you call it "corn on the cob" rather than corn cob. Thanks!

    Loob, so you use "maize," which I know to be the BrE word, but then you use "CORN on the cob"?? Huh?:)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Loob, so you use "maize," which I know to be the BrE word, but then you use "CORN on the cob"?? Huh?:)
    Yes, just one of those things, susanna. I suppose we learned it from our AmE cousins. (We also buy tinned 'sweetcorn';))
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    American nuance:

    • It's only corn on the cob if you've fixed it and are about to eat it (which, of course, we're doing here, so I'm glad xabiachica mentioned it in post 8).
    • It's an ear of corn if it's in the field or about to be boiled or barbequed (so terrible).
    • If you're giving the chickens an uneaten or half-eaten ear of corn from the dinner table, it's an ear of corn.
    • A cob is a cob, or a corn cob -- as in corncob pipe (and I notice this linked one is made in China; is there nothing that hillbillies produce anymore?) -- and has no corn on it because it's been shelled (after it's been dried, for a pipe or animal feed) or eaten (in the case of corn on the cob).
    • And if it's growing in the fields, it's corn, not maize... as in cornfield. At least that's the way I grew up in the Midwest... it's possible they've gone all maizey in my long absence. :)
     
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    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Thanks again! So I take it that "corn cob" (or "corncob") is only the corn on the cob after you have eaten the corn. And if it still has some of the corn on it when you use it as fodder, it's an "ear of corn."

    Thanks!
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Three cheers for Copyright!:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:



    I'm exhausted after reading post 14, I think I'd better go and lie down....
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thanks again! So I take it that "corn cob" (or "corncob") is only the corn on the cob after you have eaten the corn. And if it still has some of the corn on it when you use it as fodder, it's an "ear of corn."
    The cob or corn cob doesn't have any corn at all on it, if that's what you mean.
    If it has some corn on it, you will be surprised to know that we don't have a name for it, beyond, "Are you going to leave that half-eaten ear of corn on your plate, young man?" (Answer, no.)

    At my grandparents' farm in Kansas, we used to take dried ears of corn and shell two-thirds of the corn off until we were left with a corn version of a World War Two German potato-masher grenade. Then we would have fights with them, of course. Dried corn is very hard.

    From that same era, a photo of General Douglas MacArthur with his corncob pipe.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I can't quite believe I'm saying this. But this will definitely be one of the threads I will remember - and cherish!:)
     
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