• #### 科普

SCIENCE

#### 英语

ENGLISH

#### 科技

TECHNOLOGY

MOVIE

FOOD

#### 励志

INSPIRATIONS

#### 社会

SOCIETY

TRAVEL

#### 动物

ANIMALS

KIDS

#### 卡通

CARTOON

#### 计算机

COMPUTER

#### 心理

PSYCHOLOGY

#### 教育

EDUCATION

#### 手工

HANDCRAFTS

#### 趣闻

MYSTERIES

CAREER

GEEKS

#### 时尚

FASHION

• 精品课
• 公开课
• 欢迎下载我们在各应用市场备受好评的APP

点击下载Android最新版本

点击下载iOS最新版本

扫码下载译学馆APP

#### 为什么一打面包是13个？

DEMYSTIFIED: Why Is a Baker’s Dozen 13? | Encyclopaedia Britannica

There are twelve to a dozen.

That’s what most of us learn in grade school.

Twelve has been an important number

across many civilizations for thousands of years.
12在许多文明中都是一个重要的数字
It’s a highly “composite” number

it can be evenly divided by a lot of smaller numbers.

Twelve is easy to divide up into twos, threes, fours, or sixes.
12很容易被分成2份3份4份6份
This easy divisibility makes twelve a good number for measurement.

Twelve inches to a foot.
12英寸等于1英尺
Twelve months in a year.

Two times twelve hours in a day

and five times twelve minutes in an hour

and seconds in a minute.

It’s no wonder that we so often buy by the dozen or half-dozen

But what’s called a “baker’s dozen” is actually thirteen.

So what’s the deal with bakers?

If a “baker’s dozen” is thirteen, that’s way less useful.

Thirteen is a prime number
13是个质数
it barely divides at all.

What’s the point?

What do bakers know that we don’t?

Today, this isn’t very common.

Generally when you order a dozen donuts,

you’ll get the expected twelve.

But some bakers will still include an extra bun

with an order as a nod to tradition

or just as a savvy customer service move.

In the past, keeping your customers happy wasn’t just good for business,

it was good for your health.

There are a few theories as to how a baker’s dozen became thirteen.

But the most widely accepted is that

bakers would throw an extra loaf

into orders of a dozen to avoid a flogging.

In medieval England,

there were strict laws controlling the price of bread.

the price of the wheat used to bake it.

If a baker was found

to have cheated by shorting their loaves,

things could go badly for them.

And “badly” in medieval England meant…

they could be fined or even beaten.

Human rights violations aside,

the big problem with these laws was

that even careful bakers make mistakes.

Variations in rising, baking, and air content

could all change the size of a loaf

and made it hard to be sure it was the planned weight.

And some bakers didn’t even have scales to weigh their dough on.

Afraid of accidentally coming up short,

some bakers would just throw an extra loaf into lots of twelve.

The extra made sure they were staying within the law

and avoiding a flogging.

Some bakers even used fourteen instead of thirteen for a dozen.

Better safe than sorry, right?

Mathematically, twelve is probably still the better value for a dozen.

But now you know that bakers had their reasons.

YXG-05c87