Posted by R. Berg on January 31, 2002

In Reply to: Can't died in a corn field - pure guesswork posted by The Fallen on January 31, 2002

: : I was wondering the meaning and origin of "Can't died in a cornfield". My mother used to tell me this whenever I said I can't do it.....

: Re meaning, I'd assume something along the lines of "if you don't at least try, you'll always be bound to fail". As to origin, and this is a freely admitted stretch, I wonder if it's biblical? My scriptural knowledge is rusty, but didn't Cain the crop-minder kill Abel the herdsman in a cornfield? I therefore wonder if it's a far-fetched pun, with the "can't" being a sound-alike for the opposite of "can" and therefore meaning Abel. It almost sounds plausible in some seriously skewed way... is "can't" pronounced "cain't" in some States?

Yes, in the southern U.S.