Left-handers have been linguistically abused for centuries! There are hundreds of (mainly abusive) terms for left-handers.
There are a lot of sayings where “right” is good and “left” is bad e.g., “being in your right mind”, “the divine right of kings”, it will be all right in the end” as against being “left out”, having “two left-feet”, “a left-handed compliment” (one that is not really meant!).
Even the word for “left-handed” in many languages is very negative:
|Language||Word for Left Handed||Meaning|
|Spanish||Zurdo||Reverse – No Ser Zurdo = Clever|
|Dutch||Linkshandig||To “have two left hands” means to be clumsy.|
|Norwegian||Kjevhendt||Crooked-handed (also advised to us as keivhent, left-hander)|
|Australia||Mollie Dooker||Something to do with having fists like a girl|
|Latin||SinisterDexter||On the left-hand sideOn the right hand side (dextrous)|
For a more complete list and lots of comments from visitors see the Left handed language page on the Anything Left Handed website.
If you have any more words to add to this list or can help further with origins / meanings / alternatives, you can add them as comments on that page.
- Being left-handed
- How left are you?
- Is it me?
- Left handed history
- Left handed language
- Left handed fun facts
- Famous left handers
- The Lefty’s Lament song
- Do left-handers earn more?
- Are left-handers better drivers?
- Thank you for taking the tour