One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The dried stalks or stems of rye.
2A single dried straw or stem of rye. Also figurative: †(a) a weak, insignificant person (obsolete rare); (b) US"not to care (also give) a rye straw for": to care nothing for (now rare).
Early 16th century; earliest use found in John Fitzherbert (d. 1531). From rye + straw.
rye straw/ˈrʌɪ strɔː/
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