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

 Baker (The).Baker’s Knee (A). 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
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). 

 
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