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The word is also known to the Russian literary language. From the Dictionary of SI Ozhegov we learn that it is alive – every grain in the grain or on the vine. Related to it is the formerly very common noun barn, which has two meanings: “1. Barn, room for bread, grain (obsolete). 2. trans. About a rich grain-growing area, supplying other areas (high.) “.
In Russia, many kinds of cereals have always been sown: rye, wheat, oats, barley, millet, buckwheat. But, depending on the soil and climate, different crops prevailed in different territories.
The word zhito means a common, generic concept. In specific dialects of this territory there are narrower meanings: only “bread on the vine”, ie, growing cereals, or only “bread in grain” – harvested crop, or “spring crops” – those that sow in the spring, and cleaned in summer or autumn, usually they were wheat, barley, oats, buckwheat. Most likely, the literary language has learned the meaning of the word zhito, characteristic of the dialects of the northeast, the former Rostov-Suzdal lands.
From other Slavic dialects, a similar meaning is noted in Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, Macedonian and West Bulgarian.
More often than not, the name of a separate type of grain crops. This word, as a rule, was called the main grain crop, which prevails in the given locality. So, in the northwestern dialects called barley grass, a resident of the country, capable of suffering a very severe climate. It is sown in the north of the Arkhangelsk region, including the coast of the White Sea. Barley is made of barley, which is better known as pearl barley or simply barley. By the way, this name comes from the fact that the grain of the barley with its whiteness and shape reminded people of pearls – pearls. Peter I considered the yogurt porridge to be the most “spore” (nutritious) and tasty. From the sprouted grains of barley, malt was prepared for a long time and beer was brewed.
Rye is called a resident in the dialects of the south and south-west of the Central part of Russia, although similar use is found in other territories. In general, rye was the main grain culture in Russia. It, like barley, is frost-resistant and ripens before other cereals. It was from rye that black bread was baked – the main one for the Russian village.

Zhito means rye in most Slavic languages ​​and dialects. This is the Ukrainian, Belarusian, Polish, the vast majority of Czech dialects, Slovak, northern Slovenian and West Bulgarian.
You probably noticed that there were white, unpainted places on the map. In this territory, the word “zhito” was lost by the mid-20th century, when the material presented in the Atlas was collected; it could be supplanted by other words, for example rye or bread.
Alone in the meaning of “wheat” is known only to a small number of Russian dialects. For example, in the dialects near Moscow, north of Velizh, to the east of the White Lake, etc., several “islets”. Find them on the map. The fact is that the climate of Russia’s central Russia to wheat is not particularly suitable: it does not like the cold – it needs heat for almost four months. Therefore, formerly in these places, some wheat was sown and white bread was revered for the festive. Often called wheat in the southern regions, where it is grown: in the north of Serbia, southern Macedonia, in Bulgaria and western Slovakia.
In the Proto-Slavonic language, Zhyto probably had a generic notion – “cereals in general”, and for each type of bread there was a special name, that is, words were barley, rye, wheat, millet, etc. If some culture , widely cultivated, began to be called a resident, then gradually its former, species name died off or acquired a different meaning. Thus, in the Ukrainian, Belarusian, Polish and Czech literary languages ​​and dialects, the name rye became rare or acquired a different meaning, since it was behind it that the name of the zhito was established.


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