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Thread: baker's dozen

  1. #1
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    baker's dozen

    Hello,

    I'm wondering if the phrase 'baker's dozen' has any negative feeling that is associated with the number 13. "Devil's dozen', which is a synonym, surely has (judging by the first word), but Wikipedia redirects me to the 'baker's dozen' article. The phrase looks pretty 'innocent'.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Verona_82; 07-May-2011 at 20:21. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: baker's dozen

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    I'm wondering if the phrase 'baker's dozen' has any negative feeling that is associated with number 13. "Devil's dozen', which is a synonym, surely has (judging by the first word), but Wikipedia redirects me to the 'baker's dozen' article. The phrase looks pretty 'innocent'.

    Thank you.
    I've never thought of it having any negative connotations. I had never heard of "devil's dozen".

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: baker's dozen

    I have never heard of a devil's dozen either.

    A baker's dozen is a common enough expression. Since it's usually used for rolls or muffins or cupcakes or bagels, what could be negative about that?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: baker's dozen

    It
    BBC - h2g2 - Friday the 13th - Unlucky for Some?

    The second article says a baker's dozen was lucky in itself 'as you got an extra bun'.
    I'm being curious because in my language we have only one expression to talk about the number 13, which has negative connotations and is believed to bring bad luck.

  5. #5
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Re: baker's dozen

    In my experience very few people here have any kind of real superstition about the number 13. That said, most buildings don't have 13th floor. But if the 13th falls on a Friday, it's more of a joke than a real concern.

    There are some people with triskaidekaphobia -- fear of the number 13.

    It's also common here in some newer buildings to not have 4th floor because of a large number of Asian immigrants. This is apparently a "bad number" in some Asian countries.

  6. #6
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: baker's dozen

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    In my experience very few people here have any kind of real superstition about the number 13. That said, most buildings don't have 13th floor. But if the 13th falls on a Friday, it's more of a joke than a real concern.

    There are some people with triskaidekaphobia -- fear of the number 13.

    It's also common here in some newer buildings to not have 4th floor because of a large number of Asian immigrants. This is apparently a "bad number" in some Asian countries.

    ***** A NON-TEACHER's COMMENT *****


    (1) Yes, some Asians do not like the number 4.

    (2) For example, in Mandarin Chinese, the character for the

    word "four" and the character for the word "death" have the

    same sound.


    Respectfully yours,


    James

  7. #7
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: baker's dozen

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I have never heard of a devil's dozen either.

    A baker's dozen is a common enough expression. Since it's usually used for rolls or muffins or cupcakes or bagels, what could be negative about that?
    I see no downside to a free donut.

  8. #8
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
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    Re: baker's dozen

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I see no downside to a free donut.

    Well, you might have to spend money on a new pair of pants.

  9. #9
    curates-egg is offline Junior Member
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    Re: baker's dozen

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    A baker's dozen is a common enough expression.
    In my experience of British English, "a baker's dozen" is rarely used outside school exercises. We learn it at school - and then forget it.

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: baker's dozen

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    (1) Yes, some Asians do not like the number 4.

    (2) For example, in Mandarin Chinese, the character for the

    word "four" and the character for the word "death" have the

    same sound.
    I don't know how common it is, but I stayed in a hotel that didn't have a fourth floor- it jumped from third to fifth.

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