Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

baker’s dozen

baker’s dozen

Meaning

  • ┬ánot 12 in numbers but 13
  • a group or set of thirteen
  • usually 13 and rarely 14

Example Sentences

  1. The fellow gave me a baker’s dozen of cookies. It made my children very happy.
  2. I always carry a baker’s dozen chocolates in my purse.
  3. I needed only 10 cars and my car dealer friend arrange me baker’s dozen of cars.
  4. I had demanded about 15 numbers of drinking water bottle for that long journey. But shopkeeper had only a dozen and I asked him to arrange baker’s dozen at least.

Origin

The phrase’s literary origin dates back to 1599 when John Cooke used it in his work called “Tu Quoque”. But the actual practice of English baker’s adding an extra loaf of bread when they sold 12 breads dates back to much earlier. In 1154, when Henry II was in power, he had introduced a trade guide within which the statute managing bakers was called “The Worshipful Company of Bakers”. Bakers were to price the bread in line with the price of wheat. The punishment for the weight falling short included fining, pillorying or flogging. The rule was about the weight of the bread and not the number and hence whenever bakers old a dozen they would warily add an identical extra loaf, for good measure. This was done so that the total weight of the purchase would not be short. The additional bread became customary and would be called “vantage loaf” or “in-bread”. The Worshipful Company is in existence to this day and they offer an extra piece of in-bread with every loaf that they sell.

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