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BARLEYCORN. A lineal measure, containing one-third of an inch. Dane's Ab. c. 211, a. 13, s. 9. The barleycorn was the first measure, with its division and multiples, of all our measures of length, superfices, and capacity. Id. c. 211, a. 1 2, s. 2.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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"No," said Charmian, ignoring John Barleycorn's roughness, as so many women have learned to do.
In Britain, shoe size is measured in barleycorns - a medieval unit which defines an inch as three barleycorns.
In his survey, Bloom examines everyday items -- the seed, the egg, the string, the beehive, the night sky -- "as if you've never seen them before." For instance, he guides readers in observing the development of the scratch mark in clay used by Babylonians to count barleycorns, showing how this crude technology came about and evolved into the study of mathematics and, six thousand years later, into Boolean algebra and the basis for computer science.