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acknowledge the corn




By folk tale, attributed to an instance of a man who stole several horses and the corn to feed them but in court only admitted to stealing the corn.


acknowledge the corn

  1. (idiomatic) To acknowledge defeat or admit to a mistake; to cop a plea; to admit to a small error but not a larger one.
    • 1859, J. Underwood, letter to the editor, Samuel W. Cole (editor), The New England Farmer, Volume 11,
      I should like to take a job of that kind on a wager with him, or any other New Hampshire man, and if I did not come out a little ahead on the "home stretch," why then I would "acknowledge the corn," and own myself beaten.
    • 1880, Parliament of Canada, Official report of the debates of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada‎:
      Will the hon. gentleman acknowledge the corn? He does not do it. He is non-committal.
    • 1892, The American magazine‎,
      They had simply to "acknowledge the corn," round up, and — "vamoose"; then, so soon as the soldiers had gone back to the fort, there was no law to prevent their returning.

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