Old English ryge, from Proto-Germanic *ruig (cf. Old Saxon roggo, Old Norse rugr, Old Frisian rogga, Middle Dutch rogghe, Old High German rocko, German Roggen), related to or from Balto-Slavic words (cf. Old Church Slavonic ruži, Russian rozh' "rye;" Lithuanian rugys "grain of rye," plural rugiai), from a European PIE root *wrughyo- "rye." Meaning "whiskey" (made from rye) first attested 1835. Rye bread attested from mid-15c.
=Rie, (Heb. kussemeth), found in Ex. 9:32; Isa. 28:25, in all of which the margins of the Authorized and of the Revised Versions have "spelt." This Hebrew word also occurs in Ezek. 4:9, where the Authorized Version has "fitches' (q.v.) and the Revised Version "spelt." This, there can be no doubt, was the Triticum spelta, a species of hard, rough-grained wheat.