1) The four-rowed barley, an inferior but hardier variety of the six-rowed or winter barley (OED).

It was more suited to the climate and soil in northern counties, as Leland noted: c.1540 Arkengarth dale liith most up North and bereth sum Bygge and Otys. The word occurred commonly from that time: 1558 I wyll that the pore folkes of the churche rawe be mended with bygge, Sedbergh

1630 a garth of bigg, Abbotside.

dates 1540 1558 1630

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