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A question regarding usage of the words purebred and heirloom (as referring to true pure breeds you can trace back in generations, e.g. registered in herd books, or adhering to a standardised phenotype, i.e. those preserving original genetics dating back pre 1900-1950).

I have a feeling for purebred when applied to animals: you can have a purebred chicken, or a purebred line of lamb. But I have also seen the word applied to plants and seeds as well (including those in NYTimes).

1. Does it feel right when you hear combinations "purebred corn" or "purebred tomato seeds"?

2. If it does not, what's the closest expression for those in #1?

3. Does purebred sound to you closer to heritage or heirloom? Why?

4. Does it feel right when you hear "heirloom chicken eggs", "heirloom beef", "heirloom milk" or "heirloom bull"?

5. Is there a single English word which would capture both purebredness and heirloomness?

Thank you so much!

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Heirloom tomatoes are the kind of tomatoes that our (great) grandparents grew in their little vegetable gardens, as contrasted with the engineered-for-market tasteless, pasty greenouse-grown tomatoes you usually find in the supermarket.

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anonymous1. Does it feel right when you hear combinations "purebred corn" or "purebred tomato seeds"?

No.

Hybrid corn is a combination of two or more varieties selected for their positive attributes for the farmer, high-yield, drought-tolerance, and disease resistance.

Purebred is used with breeds of domesticated animals which have have been in selective breeding programs for many generations to enhance certain characteristics, such as speed (in the greyhound and whippet), herding (sheepdogs, cattle dogs), and hunting (beagles, foxhounds) instincts, and protection of the owner.

Purebred puppies of almost any breed can command very high prices.

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Comments  
anonymous1. Does it feel right when you hear combinations "purebred corn" or "purebred tomato seeds"?

Plant genetics is insane. The DNA rearranges itself at will. There can be no purebred plant, whatever that might mean. Plants only ever breed true for certain traits.

anonymous2. If it does not, what's the closest expression for those in #1?

You would have to name the hybrid or cultivar or whatever.

anonymous3. Does purebred sound to you closer to heritage or heirloom? Why?

"Heritage" and "heirloom" are meaningless marketing ploys in this context.

anonymous4. Does it feel right when you hear "heirloom chicken eggs", "heirloom beef", "heirloom milk" or "heirloom bull"?

I feel ghostly fingers at my wallet.

anonymous5. Is there a single English word which would capture both purebredness and heirloomness?

I don't know what that could be.

 AlpheccaStars's reply was promoted to an answer.
 AlpheccaStars's reply was promoted to an answer.
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