|John Wayne in London|
Why are some red wines called port? At one time, Finch explains at one point in the story, England made a trade agreement with Portugal stipulating that England buy only Portuguese wine if Portugal bought only English cloth. Portuguese wine, shortened to port, was for many years all that could be found in England. In the United States today, I learned elsewhere, all port wines do not necessarily come from Portugal.
What is corn? Finch writes, "The word corn, here in Somerset, referred to any kind of grain -- oats, barley, wheat." Corn, at least at one time, was the dominant crop in a particular region. If farmers, as around Somerset, grew oats, barley and wheat, then that was called corn. In the New World, maize proved to be the dominant crop, so American farmers called it corn. Today that's what most people think of when they hear the word. In Word Nerd by Barbara Ann Kipfer, we read that the word corn derives from a Latin word meaning "grain." "To American colonists," she writes, "corn meant any common grain."