Why do we use the word Dozen instead of Twelve?

Latin for 12 = Duodecim, this become Dozeine in the Old French language and then in Old English to Dozen.


Why is 12 of something called a Dozen?..

The word Dozen comes from the original Latin word, duodecim, for 12, this changed in the French language to dozeine, and then in English to Dozen.

Why is a Dozen, sometimes 13?

This came from the term “Bakers Dozen”

King Henry III, in 1266, implemented a law to standardize the weight of bread loaves with penalties including fines, beatings or jail.
Bakers then decided to be safe and give 13 loaves to customers buying a 12.
In this way a “Bakers Dozen” become 13 in practice.  The term itself may have begun being used in around 1600.

Sources:

www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/dozen

www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/Bakers-dozen.html


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