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Base data: length.
Ancient British unit. One-third of an inch. Derived from the length of barley
Close relationship with the inch
According to legend, the Saxons called the length of a grain of barley, a “barleycorn”, and three barleycorns were “1 thumb” (see page 11). The thumb length is the width of a thumb, and this then became the inch. A unit that originated from the width of a thumb can be found in many countries, but a unit based on barley is limited solely to the UK.
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