hay (n.)

"grass mown," Old English heg (Anglian), hieg, hig (West Saxon) "grass cut or mown for fodder," from Proto-Germanic *haujam (source also of Old Norse hey, Old Frisian ha, Middle Dutch hoy, German Heu, Gothic hawi "hay"), literally "that which is cut," or "that which can be mowed" (from PIE *kau- "to hew, strike;" source also of Old English heawan "to cut;" see hew).

Slang phrase hit the hay (pre-1880) was originally "to sleep in a barn;" hay in the general figurative sense of "bedding" is from 1903; roll in the hay (n.) is from 1941.

updated on April 18, 2021