Words of the day for Left Handers Day

Words of the day for Left Handers Day
photo by Margaret H. Laing

Happy Left Handers Day! That’s the style for the holiday mentioned in a newsletter I get from a company called Anything Left Handed, from the Left-Handers Club in the U.K. (Personally, I’d make it Left-handers’ Day, but that’s an editorial quibble.)

You can find the newsletter and other information at  www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk.

Apart from awareness, with items decorated with “Embrace Your Smudge” and other, well, left-leaning slogans, it’s a comforting site (and sight) for those of us of the left-handed persuasion. Hmm… we have to persuade our right sides to do things; the left side is already convinced.

There’s nothing sinister about left-handedness anymore, but sinister (in Latin) used to mean the left side — even stage villains usually enter from stage left.

In French, the word for left is gauche — telling someone “How gauche!” about a mistake is saying “How left!” (How wrong… not necessarily left, just wrong!)

Meanwhile, if you’re adroit at something (in French or English), you’re “to the right.” It’s the same with the Latin dextrous, right.

So, does anything remain? Oh yes, I was going to make that “Have I left anything out?”

Have a correct sort of day… not right, just correct. They’re not the same thing to everyone.

For more fun with words, stop by the Margaret Serious page on Facebook.

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  • There's also southpaw, but the movie by that name has nothing to do with the green thing at Sox park, and the park is oriented in the wrong direction for the traditional origin of that term to work.

    Also, they don't say "all lefts reserved" at the end of a television show, or "izquierdas reservados" on Univision.

  • In reply to jack:

    You have a good point about "southpaw," but it's not a word I enjoy. I went through a phase of calling right-handers "northpaws," and it wasn't received well.

  • BTW, there was an item on Comics Kingdom (King Features) in honor of Left-Handed Day, but it seems like most of the cartoonists were ambidextrous. Their nondominant hand efforts were far better than any effort I could make.

  • Thanks, Jack. That's intriguing. By the way, since "ambidextrous" means two right (dexter) hands, the correct term for lefties to strive for would be "ambisinistrous." I'm a long way from that!

  • Interesting---It's fun learning via your post about the how language is embedded with evidence of past attitudes towards left-handedness. (There's probably a few more posts in the subject!) Hey! You've decorated this post with an original photo!

  • In reply to folkloric:

    Thanks. I'm always glad to make learning fun. And hey! If you like this photo, I'd better try taking some more!

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