One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An individual seed of rice, especially after removal of the husk. Also (as a mass noun): rice as a food grain.
2Astronomy. A small, luminous, and short-lived patch on the surface of the sun; = "facula". Also called willow leaf. Now rare.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in The Annual Register. From rice + grain.
rice grain/ˈrʌɪs ˌɡreɪn/
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