Friday, June 14, 2024

Baker's Dozen and The "Schmear"

 There are a few theories as to why a baker’s dozen became 13, but the most widely accepted one has to do with avoiding a beating. In medieval England there were laws that related the price of bread to the price of the wheat used to make it. Bakers who were found to be “cheating” their customers by overpricing undersized loaves were subject to strict punishment, including fines or flogging.  -

Schmear (n.) - also schmeer, 1961, "bribery," from Yiddish shmir "spread," from shmirn "to grease, smear," from Middle High German smiren, from Old High German smirwen "to smear" (see smear (v.); compare slang grease (someone's) palm "to bribe"). -

In Brooklynese, the "schmear" is both cream cheese and a bribe. As you place the money in the hand, the two hands slide schmearing as on a bagel.

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