a set of calisthenic exercises to be done each day, originally a set of 12 or more such exercises.
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Other Idioms and Phrases with daily dozen
Physical exercise, as in Helen walks two miles every morning—that's her daily dozen. This term originally referred to a set of twelve specific calisthenic exercises to be performed every day. They were devised by a famous Yale University football coach, Walter Camp (1859–1925), and came into general use in the early 1900s. Despite the physical fitness craze of the late 1900s, these exercises and their name are no longer taken literally, but the term survives in a very general way.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.