5 Notable Differences Between Corn and Maize You Need to Know

Filed in Articles by on July 27, 2021 0 Comments

Differences Between Corn and Maize – Corn and maize are used interchangeably. Corn is a term primarily used among North Americans. Corn is one of the world’s most popular cereal grains; it’s the seed of a plant in the grass family.

The word “maize” comes from the original name of the plant given by the Taino, one of the indigenous peoples of the Bahamas and Antilles islands. In British English, the word “corn,” simply means cereal. Corn and maize are different terminologies used to describe the same thing.

Differences Between Corn and Maize

Differences Between Corn and Maize

Etymology of Corn

The root of the English word corn is the proto-Germanic “kurnam,” which also evolved across a period of centuries into the words kernel and grain. The word has traditionally been used to denote the primary grain crop in a given area.

In England, the word was generally used to denote wheat, while in Scotland it was oats, and in parts of Germany “korn” was understood to mean rye.


In many countries, corn is the name given to the leading crop grown in certain districts. Also, in England, it is wheat, while in Scotland and Ireland, it relates to oats. In the Bible, corn is nothing but wheat and barley.

However, in USA and Canada corn and maize are one and the same and are meant for the plant that produces kernels used for cooking.  But, the term corn is preferred over maize for food products that are made from it, such as corn flour, corn starch, cornmeal, etc.

However, with regard to commodity trading, corn is only maize and does not include any other grains.  In culinary, the corn is generally mentioned as sweet corn, popcorn, cornflakes, baby corn, dent corn, flint corn, flour corn, and waxy corn.


Maize was domesticated over 7,000 years ago in what is now Mexico from a wild grass called teosinte. It is vastly easier to cultivate than other grains, requiring no laborious cutting and threshing.

Its cultivation spread throughout Central and North America, where Columbus discovered it and brought it back to Europe. The name maize originated with the indigenous Taino people in the Caribbean, and is the name used in most European languages to denote “Indian corn,” or grain from the New World.

Maize was originated from its Mexican variant called teosinte.  It has a single erect solid stem with long and narrow leaves that grow alternately, whereas teosinte is small and bushy.   The difference in their appearance is due to the variation in their two genes.

Teosinte and maize can be subjected to cross breeding to make fertile offspring. The maize is now considered to be one of the main grain crops in the world.

Ancient farmers in Mexico are known to be the first to domesticate maize.  They noticed that the plants were not at all the same in appearance. Some grew larger than others, and some kernels were tastier.

So they selected the best ones that got desired characteristics and cultivated them for the next harvest season.  This process was called selective breeding, from which the modern maize originated.

Notable Differences Between Corn And Maize

1. Corn is the term that describes cereal in British English.

2. Word “corn” has many meanings relying upon the geographical areas.

3. Corn is a crop that is produced throughout the United Kingdom whereas Maize is extensively cultivated in America in many varieties; the principal cereal in Mexico and Central and South America since pre-Columbian situations.4. Word Maize is frequent in nations like New Zealand, Canada, and the United States whereas Corn is frequent in European nations.

5. Maize is a time interval that is utilized for the plant which is not cooked or nonetheless raw on the branches of the cob whereas corn is the phrase that is used for the maize which has been cooked and in a position to eat.

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