Rye vs wry

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Rye is a cereal plant and the grains that come from this cereal plant. Rye is used as fodder, in whiskey-making and bread-making. Rye may be used as a noun or an adjective, in North America ryebread may be shortened to simply rye. Rye comes from the Old English word, ryge, and from the Germanic word, ruig.

Wry refers to a dry humor or a twisted facial expression. Wry is an adjective, related words are wryer and wryest. The only correct adverb form is wryly, the only correct noun form is wryness. Interestingly, one may apply the “when following a consonant change the y to an i” rule when spelling wrier and wriest, but not wryly or wryness. To avoid confusion, it may be better to stick with the y spelling in all derivations. Wry appears in the 1520s to mean distorted, twisted to the side, from the Old English word wrigian, which means to turn, bend, move.


While each rye whiskey is nuanced differently, a commonality between most is its spice — American ryes tend to be more peppery than bourbon, as it’s made with at least 51 percent rye, a headier grain than bourbon’s corn. (The Huffington Post)

Made using organic rye from a farm in Eaton County, the whiskey can be found at the distillery’s handsome Eastern Market tasting room, or in liquor stores across the state. (The Detroit News)

First up was a delicious New York-style slice of margherita pizza from LA’s first pizzeria, Patsy D’Amore’s, followed by Middle Eastern dishes of falafel, tahini and tabouleh from Moishe’s and terrific corned beef, mustard and horseradish rye sandwiches from Magee’s Kitchen. (The New Zealand Herald)

It is also a darkly wry novel with lots of Beatle references for those who (like me) experience an adolescent leap of joy whenever they pop up: there is no Gideon’s Bible at the first hotel; O’Grady’s hair is “greased and fixed like a ducktail joint”; Lennon is “so tired, he hasn’t slept a wink”. (The Guardian)

But its meaning stretches beyond Mike’s wry deviousness. (The Baltimore Sun)

His wry sense of humor was evident on his Facebook page, where he posted a link to an article with suggested answers to the idiotic questions that waiters receive from customers. (The New York Times)