One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Something that measures twelve inches in length, diameter, height, etc.; specifically (a) a cannon with a bore of twelve inches; (b) a twelve-inch record.
Early 20th century; earliest use found in ‘O. Henry’ (1862–1910), short-story writer (real name William Porter). From twelve + incher, after twelve-inch. Sometimes written with numerical symbol for the first element.
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