From Middle English furlong, forlong, from Old English furlang, from furh (“furrow”) + lang (“long”); originally the typical length of a furrow in an average field.
furlong (plural furlongs)
- (chiefly historical) A unit of length equal to 220 yards, 1⁄8 mile, or 201.168 meters, now only used in measuring distances in horse racing.
1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i], page 1: Gonz. Now would I giue a thouſand furlongs of Sea, for an Acre of barren ground : Long heath, Browne firrs, any thing; […]