Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Baker’s Dozen.

 Baker (The).Baker’s Knee (A). 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Baker’s Dozen.
Thirteen for twelve. When a heavy penalty was inflicted for short weight, bakers used to give a surplus number of loaves, called the inbread, to avoid all risk of incurring the fine. The 13th was the “vantage loaf.”   1
   Mr. Riley (Liber Albus) tells us that the 13th loaf was “the extent of the profit allowed to retail dealers,” and therefore the vantage loaf means, the loaf allowed for profit.   2
   To give one a baker’s dozen, in slang phraseology, is to give him a sound drubbing—i.e. all he deserves and one stroke more.   3

 Baker (The).Baker’s Knee (A). 


Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.