What does “baker’s dozen” mean?

Uncover the fascinating history and meaning behind the idiom 'Baker's dozen'. Learn why bakers added an extra loaf and how it's still used today!

Origin of the Term

“Baker’s dozen” is an idiom that refers to a group of 13 items, one more than the standard dozen of 12.

The term has its roots in medieval England and has been used for centuries.

Here are three brief definitions of the idiom:

  1. A baker’s dozen is a group of 13 items, one more than the standard dozen of 12.
  2. The term “baker’s dozen” originates from the practice of bakers adding an extra loaf to a dozen to avoid being penalized for shortchanging customers.
  3. A baker’s dozen is often used metaphorically to refer to any group of 13 items.

Here are three example sentences that use the idiom:

  1. The baker gave her a baker’s dozen of cookies instead of the usual dozen.
  2. He ordered a baker’s dozen of donuts for the office party.
  3. The company promised to deliver a baker’s dozen of new products by the end of the year.

Historical Context

The term “baker’s dozen” has its origins in medieval England.

Bakers were required by law to sell bread by weight, and they risked being fined or even imprisoned if they were caught shortchanging customers.

To avoid this, bakers would add an extra loaf to a dozen to ensure that they were meeting the legal requirements.

This practice became known as a “baker’s dozen.”

Is “Queensbury Rules” a Similar Concept to “Baker’s Dozen”?

The meaning of Queensbury Rules refers to the code of conduct for boxing, emphasizing fair play and sportsmanship.

On the other hand, Baker’s Dozen is a similar concept in the sense that it involves a traditional set of rules or practices, specifically regarding the number 13.

Etymology

The term “baker’s dozen” comes from the practice of adding an extra loaf to a dozen to avoid being penalized for shortchanging customers.

The word “baker” refers to the profession of baking, while “dozen” comes from the Old French word “douzaine,” which means “a group of twelve.” The term “baker’s dozen” has been used for centuries and is still in use today.

Here are three synonyms of the idiom:

  • Thirteen in a dozen
  • Thirteen for the price of twelve
  • A long dozen