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baker's half dozen
Half of a "baker's dozen" (13 rather than 12), thus, 7 rather than 6. The term "baker's dozen" to mean 13 originates from an 11th-century practice in which bakers would include an extra loaf of bread in a dozen so as to avoid facing penalties for selling underweight bread. The seven deadly sins are a baker's half dozen of things one should avoid in order to live a moral life.
a baker's dozen
Thirteen; one more than a usual dozen (12). When Jacob went to the bakery to buy doughnuts for the office, he made sure to get a baker's dozen so he could sneak one to eat on the way to work.
a baker's dozen
thirteen. (Bakers often added an extra item to an order for a dozen.) We ended up with a baker's dozen each of socks and undershirts on our shopping trip.
Thirteen, as in The new bagel store always gives you a baker's dozen. The origins of this term are disputed. One theory is that in times when bread was sold by weight, bakers who short-weighted their customers were heavily fined, and for safety's sake they would sell thirteen loaves for the price of twelve. Another theory is that dealers purchasing bread from bakers were allowed by law to receive thirteen loaves for the price of twelve, the thirteenth representing their cut of profit. [Late 1500s]
a baker's dozenOLD-FASHIONED
A baker's dozen of things is thirteen of them. To help you decide where to go, we've picked out a baker's dozen of top events between April and September. Note: Bakers in medieval England (= England between 1000 and 1500) had a bad reputation for cheating their customers by selling loaves of bread that were too light. After laws were introduced to fix the standard weight of loaves, bakers began to add a thirteenth loaf to each dozen to make sure they were not breaking the law.