Monday, August 22, 2016

Corn Guilt/Innocence

Corn Guilt/Innocence: 

Acknowledge the Corn

It is harvest time and one of the most common symbols for the harvest is corn. Corn as a food staple has long been connected to agricultural folklore. Corn deities and spirits spring up in almost every corner of the world.
Corn foodlore is filled with customs about how to grow, harvest and store this golden food item.
But did you know that corn has also taken on another interesting folk functions?
According to, this nineteenth century colloquialism referred to admitting guilt or responsibility in an aspect of a crime or a debt while pleading innocence about the rest of the accusation.
Here are two of the site’s examples:

The Horse and Corn Thief

During a court case in the 1800’s a man was accused of stealing some horses and a large supply of corn that was intended to feed the horses. Horse thievery was a severe charge with severe penalties. In defense (and to avoid the harsher crime/punishment) he declared, "I acknowledge the corn!"

The Gambler, the Potatoes, and the Corn

A man sought his fortune in New Orleans. He floated two boats - one each of potato and corn to barter with.  A gambler, he bet both boat supplies and lost. Unfortunately, he discovered as he sought out to get the boats that the boat of corn had sunk.
In order to salvage the degree of debt he could now not pay he told his debtors he acknowledged the corn. They could have that (if they could retrieve it from the bottom of the lake, but they could not take the potatoes.
Food lore
To read more about this archaic phrase, click here.


Related Information

Corn Husk Dolls

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