Bakers Dozen: What Does the Interesting Term “Bakers Dozen” Mean?

There is little doubt that you will have heard the idiomatic term “bakers dozen” being used in English conversation. But where did this saying come from in the first instance and what exactly does it mean?

Bakers Dozen

Bakers Dozen Meaning

When talking about a “bakers dozen” one may be referring to a numerical amount, this amount is thirteen.

Origin of this idiomatic phrase

The idiom has its origins in the 16th century where bakers would add an extra loaf to a dozen in order to raise their profits. The number 13 then became known as a bakers dozen and is still used today to refer to this number.

“Bakers Dozen” Examples

You would use the term “bakers dozen” to simply refer to anything with the quantity of 13. For example you might have thirteen blouses in your closet and when someone asks you how many you have, you might reply with the answer “a bakers dozen.”

Example Sentences

  • There’re a baker’s dozen of eggs.
  • I was right – a baker’s dozen is 13.
  • He bought a baker’s dozen of biscuits.
  • To our great surprise, he wrapped a baker’s dozen inside.
  • There are a baker’s dozen recognized breeds and several “unofficial ones”.
  • The grocer of whom she bought these apples gave her a baker’s dozen.
  • Although we had ordered only twelve, the shopkeeper gave us a baker’s dozen.

Conversation Examples

You would be likely to hear the phrase a bakers dozen in a variety of conversations, some of these might sound a little like the following conversations.

Conversation 1:

  • Person 1: I am going shopping today, do you need me to get anything for you?
  • Person 2: Yes, can you get me some apples please.
  • Person 1: How many would you like?
  • Person 2: A bakers dozen will be fine.

Conversation 2:

  • Person 1: She has so many children, I don’t know how she ever gets any rest.
  • Person 2: How many children does she have?
  • Person 1: A bakers dozen, would you believe!

Other Ways to Say the Phrase

With this term simply referring to a number, there are no other idiomatic ways in which to say it, instead of using the term a bakers dozen, you might simply use the number thirteen itself.

“Bakers Dozen” synonyms list:

  • Thirteen
  • Dozen plus one
  • Set of thirteen
  • More than a dozen
  • Sum of twelve and one

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