One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large roofing tile or slate, typically about 16 or 17 inches long (though perhaps varying regionally). Now historical.
2Printing. An arrangement of pages of type in a form consisting of two rows of six long narrow-type pages.
3A relatively long-barrelled gun for firing twelve-pound shells, formerly in naval use. Now historical.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Randle Holme (1627–1700), herald painter. From long + twelve.
long twelve/ˌlɒŋ ˈtwɛlv/
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