Idioms: Baker’s Dozen


Artwork by Kirsten Jones. Buy this print here.

Baker’s Dozen: 13

The chef made a baker’s dozen of bagels, knowing his assistant may eat one before they could be delivered. 

Baker’s Dozen is a measurement of food and baked goods for the most part, hence its name. The earliest known source for the phrase dates back to the 13th century, when bakers were severely punished for shorting their customers. If they left out a piece of bread from their dozen (12), for example, their hand would be cut off with an axe! In order to avoid this, bakers began baking 13 pieces of bread or other goods.


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