"can of corn"

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Fri Aug 22 19:39:34 UTC 2014

I apologize for not finding the entry in HDAS.  I keep forgetting about the system of alphabetizing that locates (for example) "can of corn"  AFTER entries for "canal," "candy," "cannon," "canoe", and 4+ pages of other entries since "can" itself appeared!

As for the legendary explanation for the origin of the metaphorical expression "can of corn":  I can't imagine there exists evidence that canned corn was ever typically shelved higher than other food items in grocery stores!



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Subject:      Re: "can of corn"

See HDAS I, p. 358.

I have heard it only in reference to baseball.

Used by whom in 1896?


On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 5:59 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <
adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: "can of corn"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Charlie: Here is a link to a discussion of "can of corn" in a Google
> Books preview of "The Dickson Baseball Dictionary" by Paul Dickson
> (Third Edition). I do not know if this link will work for list
> members.
> http://books.google.com/books?id=3DceeU7xSLw5kC&q=3D%22can+o+corn%22+#v=3Ds=
> nippet&
> Below is a link to a webpage with an explanation of unknow (to me)
> veracity=
> .
> Title: Origin of baseball term =E2=80=9Ccan of corn=E2=80=9D
> Date: May 2, 2008
> http://mtcave.blogspot.com/2008/05/origin-of-baseball-term-can-of-corn.html
> Below is another link to another webpage with an similar explanations
> of unknown (to me) veracity.
> http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=3D7&t=3D18322
> Page Title: can of corn (baseball term)
> [Begin excerpt]
> can of corn (baseball term)
> Post by Ken Greenwald
> Wed Sep 14, 2005 5:50 am
> Ralph, You make it sound as if we are going to guess. We only give
> definitive answers around here. (<:)
> CAN OF CORN: An easily played fly ball. Reported to have originated
> with the grocer=E2=80=99s practice in the early 1900s of storing cans of
> co=
> rn
> on a high shelf. When a grocer needed one, he=E2=80=99d simply tip it
> forwa=
> rd
> with a rod or a broom handle so that it would tumble easily into his
> waiting hands.
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