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33189.  Mon Nov 21, 2005 10:43 am Reply with quote

Brewer's Phrase and Fable claims that bakers used to give an extra number of loaves, called the inbread, to avoid incurring the heavy fines once payable for short weight.

33284.  Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:01 pm Reply with quote

Poulters used to deal in 'dozens' of twelve and fourteen. I've no idea why, but I do know that is why a fourteen-syllable line of poetry is called 'poulter's measure'.

33289.  Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:09 pm Reply with quote

I've never heard that term for a fourteen-syllable line, so thanks for that samivel.

33310.  Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:43 pm Reply with quote

I believe, although it could be one of those pesky urban myths, that the bakers' dozen relates to making twelve buns or loaves, with the leftover mixture being made into another, usually smaller loaf or bun.
Bakers would estimate the amount needed to make the twelve loaves and would use what was left over for another one. The more you handle dough, the worse it is to use in baking, so rather than waste it, it would be used.

I think.


33344.  Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:50 am Reply with quote


Woh! A rich gallimaufry of brain-food there. Wonderful stuff, thank you.

Last edited by JumpingJack on Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:51 am; edited 1 time in total

33345.  Tue Nov 22, 2005 3:51 am Reply with quote

Got a bit lost with 'Twaddle' though. Sounds good, but can you elucidate?

33351.  Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:18 am Reply with quote

Absolutely, but I'm not sure what you want me to elucidate about. The link to the Dictionary of Units of Measurement D page is included, but here it is again

and it's under degree Twaddle, the last entry under degree. If you want an explanation of the explanation I can do that (no probably here, no sir) but it's not a unit I've used so you'd likely have to take my word for it unless I can track down other references. I'll have a bash if you like. Saying that for milk 1[sup]o[/sup] Twaddle = 5[sup]o[/sup] Quevenne isn't very helpful I'll grant you.

Twaddle means, er, piffle, I think would be my choice from the list given here

but top of the page comes "foolish, trivial or idle chatter", which seems to apply quite well

Thanks for gallimaufry, I thought you were talking about where Dr. Who came from for a moment.

33353.  Tue Nov 22, 2005 4:25 am Reply with quote


Sorry, should have read the post more carefully just trying to get an overview of what's going on. There's just so much now! Go out for the afternoon and you can never catch up... {:o)

33419.  Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:45 am Reply with quote

come on-pay attention!

33477.  Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:25 am Reply with quote

I was always told a baker's dozen referred to the dishonest practise of adding an extra loaf or bun or whatever to the bag when weighing (and, therefore, calculating the price of) the purchase, but then removing this extra item before handing the bag over to the customer, thus fiddling the customer out of the cost of one item of whetever they were buying.

Though I can't find any internet sites that agree with this. I'm beginning to suspect everything my parents told me :)

33502.  Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:07 am Reply with quote

Were your parents disgruntled customers of a baker?

33507.  Tue Nov 22, 2005 9:59 am Reply with quote

I was taught what 96aelw quotes above, but, infuriatingly, no source seems to nail this one decisively, thereby being less successful than the authorities who would apparently nail a baker's ear to a door for selling short weight.

It isn't specified whether it was still attached to the baker at the time.

33669.  Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:12 am Reply with quote

England have won 12 Grand Slams over the History of the Rugby Union 4,5 and 6 Nation Tournaments. Three more than their nearest rivals, Wales. The first winners of a Six Nations Grand Slam (England, Wales, Ireland, France, Scotland, Italy) were France, in 2002.

The competition has been held since 1883 (1915-19 and 1940-46 excepted).

33673.  Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:59 am Reply with quote

The French equivalent, douzaine, can mean either "a dozen" or "about twelve", so if you say "une douzaine d'oeufs" it's not clear whether you mean exactly 12 eggs or somewhere around 12 eggs.

The suffix -aine denotes approximation with any number, so "une centaine" means "about 100".

On the subject of approximation: Mrs Gaazy keeps five sheep as lawnmowers. The Wool Marketing Board specifically prohibits owners with fewer than 6 sheep from registering them, on pain of punishment mediaeval in its severity, so she didn't.

However she kept getting shirty letters informing her that they knew she kept sheep and would she register them please. What to do?

The relevant box on the form asked: Approximately how many sheep do you have? So she answered: approximately six. Problem solved.

33687.  Wed Nov 23, 2005 4:49 am Reply with quote

Straying perilously into "39 things I was told at school" which there was supposed to be a thread for but it hasn't materialised yet.

I was told that douzaine was 'a twelves' worth' likewise with centaine*, ie as you say roughly 12 or roughly one hundred; thus comes the related idea of a bakers dozen, twelve loaves weight (cooked, minimum). Bread must loose water when it's baked surely?

Can I find anything in print or on the net to back this up? Can I f...

* hundredweight? That's actual grain measures originally though isn't it?

100lbs/108lbs at one time rather than the 112lbs imperial standard

2000lbs 'short ton'


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