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Re: Maize origins [was re: "Corn" in medieval Europe]

In article <hmccullo.39.33032A3F@ecolan.sbs.ohio-state.edu>,
hmccullo@ecolan.sbs.ohio-state.edu (Hu McCulloch) wrote:

>The English colonists 
> in N. Am. originally called maize "Indian corn", since they got this "corn"
> from the American Indians,

That seems plausible, but according to Finan, John J., _Maize in the Great
Herbals_, it is wrong. His claim is that Maize was misidentified with an
"Indian Corn" described by Pliny.

> >        What the heck does Turkish Corn mean? My wife, who is Italian, refers
> >to Corn as Granturco" and rarely uses the work Maize when she is
> >speaking Italian.

An explanation I have seen is that in the 16th century, a number of new
things were coming in from both the Islamic world via Turkey and the New
World, and people sometimes confused the origin. This is one of several
possible explanation for why "Turkeys" are called that. Also, there is
apparently a refernce in a Hungarian source c. 1600 to growing "turkey
peppers" in the garden--presumably capsicum from the new world.

A variant explanation of "turkeys" is that the merchants who traded
between the Middle East and England were called "Turkey Merchants," and
they picked up turkeys in Spain and imported them to England. A third
explanation is that the turkey got confused with an old-world bird called
a "turkey fowl."

David Friedman (is this thread all economists?)

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