One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Finnish and Scandinavian type of knotted pile rug.
1920s; earliest use found in The Burlington Magazine. From Finnish ryijy and its etymon Swedish rya (Old Swedish ryia), cognate with Norwegian rye, (Nynorsk) rya (Old Norwegian ry), and further with Old English rȳhe, rēowe, blanket, rug, Old Saxon rūwi furs or pelts collectively, Middle High German riuhe roughness, hairiness, furs or pelts collectively from the same Germanic base as rough.
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