Sometimes we just accept things as is without questioning ‘why’, and sometimes the answer ‘why’ is a lot more interesting than we could have ever imagined.
Recently on Reddit’s “TIL” subreddit, AKA “Today I Learned”, Redditor BBBTech shared this delightful little factoid:
TIL In medieval England, the punishment for a baker who cheated customers could be losing his hand. To protect against this, many bakers would add an extra loaf to an order, making a “baker’s dozen” 13.
But as Inception taught us, we have to dig deeper.
…court that formerly sat at intervals in each county of England and Wales to administer the civil and criminal law.
It established the quality and weight for the selling of bread at a fair price. Before this, some unscrupulous bakers would shortchange customers or even sell hollow bread to them. At the risk of losing a hand to court-ordered amputation, bakers began to add an extra loaf to protect their limbs.
Times was hard, ya’ll.
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