Closeup of fully ripe corn cobs ready to be harvested. Leaves are dry and bent outwards. There are many corn plants in background, blurry.
Food - Drink
The Historic Reason Individual Corn Cobs Were Called ‘Ears’
Corn is a simple food, but its naming conventions are a bit more complicated. The Spanish once used the word "maize" to refer to the plant, and the British used to use the term "corn" as an all-purpose word for any grain, but neither of these terms are as curious as the word "ear," used to refer to a fresh kernel-bearing corn cob.
The root word for an ear of corn is different from the root word for the ears we use for hearing, and one is older than the other. The Old English term "ear" in reference to corn likely originated around 800 CE, while the Indo-European root word "ous" wasn’t codified in Old English as "ear" (meaning hearing organ) for another 200 years.
According to Grammarphobia, the word "ear" in Old English referred to the spike that forms at the top of grains; Oxford defines the "ear" as "the part of a cereal plant which contains its flowers or seeds," so it can apply to more than corn. Ultimately, neither of the "ear" terms are related in definition or based on one another.