In ancient times, Aztecs gave medicine for kidney problems with the left hand, and medicine for liver problems with the right hand.
When a Mayan wanted to know the future, they would visit a soothsayer who would rub both his legs. If the right leg twitched, the future was good. If the left leg twitched, doom was coming.
In Chinese tradition, the yin, or right side, lives in harmony with the left side, the yang. Neither side dominates the other.
In medieval heraldry, a "sinister bend" or a left-handed stripe across a coat-of-arms was the mark of a bastard, a "son of the left hand."
In Japan, there was a time when a wife being left-handed was ground for a divorce. Today the prejudice against lefties has lessened.
Native American's used to discourage left-handedness by strapping the left hand of an infant to their cradleboard, while leaving the right hand free.
The Egyptians thought it was good luck to enter a house left foot first.
Some biblical texts claim Eve was made from Adam's left rib.
In ancient Peru, it was believed by the Incas that being left-handed was a sign of good luck.
An old Irish saying states, "The left hand of a dead man dipped in a milk pail causes cream."
Wearing a medal on the left side of the body became a custom thanks to the crusaders. They chose to wear their emblems close to their hearts.
Word's for the Lefties
In ancient Rome, the word meaning "left" was "sinister."
The English origins of the word "left" come from the Latin "laevus" meaning "the shield" or "lucky side."
The Latin word for "lefty" is "scaevola," the last name of Caius Mucius, who when he failed to kill an enemy, burned off his own right hand.
The Italian words for left and left-handed are "mancino and mancini" which translate to "defective and deceitful."
Skateboarders that are left-footed are called "goofy-footed."
In North American sign language, a raised right hand means "powerful" and "brave." A left hand place over a right hand means "burial" and "death."
An insult or a put down is known as a "left-handed compliment."
In sailing terms, a "left-handed ship" means the ship in considered unlucky.
In Australian terms, a "molly-dooker" is a "sissy-fisted" lefty.
The Spanish word for left-handed is "zurdo" or "wrong."
Ambidextrous taken to mean "able to use both hands equally," really translates as "having two right hands."
British slang for left-handed are: kefty, scrammy, and wacky.
In German, a left-handed person is called "linkisch" or "clumsy."
The Irish word for left-handed is "ciatog." Many superstitions are linked to lefties in Ireland. Often times they are thought to be treacherous and evil.
In Hindu, "khabbalabra" means "left."
Once there was a disease in olden times called lyft-adyl or "left disease." It turned out to be paralysis.
Lefties in the United States are called: southpaws, wrong-way drivers, and portsiders.
The German word for left is "link" which means "awkward." The word for right is "recht" which means "true, good, and just."
In the Oxford English Dictionary, left is defined as "the distinctive epithet of the hand which is normally the weaker of the two."
Once the French word for left, "gauche," meant "bent." Now it means "socially inept" or "awkward."
A promise you have no intentions of keeping is called a "left-handed oath."
In France, "passing the weapon to the left" means to die.
Left-handed brains can often handle music easily, but have trouble with language. Bob Dylan, a lefty, wrote the music for "Blowin' in the Wind" in less than five minutes, but it took him a month to write the lyrics.
Only 5 presidents of the United States have been left-handed: James Garfield, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, George Bush, and Bill Clinton.
Benjamin Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution with his left hand.
Ronald Regan was born left-handed, but he was forced to switch to his right hand.
The only astronaut to fly in all three space programs, Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, was left-handed Wally Schirra.
When painting the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo used both hands to paint.
Sportswriter, Charles Seymour, coined the term "southpaw" when he noticed left- handed pitchers threw from the south side of the mound.
In studies, 45% of toads tended to have a preference for their left forelimbs.
The fish, turbot, is a "left-eyed" flounder and the halibut is a right-eyed flounder. Lobsters are also subject to handedness. If the left claw is bigger than the right, it's left handed, and vice versa.
Mice and rats are equally divided into lefties and righties, regardless of breeding. However, they will easily switch paws if it makes obtaining food easier.
The left tusks of Arctic whales can grow to be 9 feet long and spiral in a counter clockwise direction.
In zoo research, apelike animals, like lemurs and galagos, are primarily left-handed.
Of the five people that designed the Macintosh computer, four were left-handed.
The left hand contains 27 bones, 28 muscles, 3 main nerves and 2 major arteries. So does the right hamd.
It is easier for a lefty to try "mirror writing" then a righty. This was a skill mastered by left-handers Lewis Carroll and Leonarde da Vinci.
There are other ways to test for handedness than by which hand you write with. Without thinking about it, draw a circle with your right hand. Then draw one with your left hand. If you drew the circle clockwise, chances are you're left handed.
In handwriting analysis, there is little difference between left and right-handed writing. The only consistent difference is how the t's are crossed. Half of lefties cross right to left, while most righties cross left to right.
According to SAT results, left-handed students have higher math scores than right-handed students do.
When hanging the United States' flag, it must fly to the left of any other flag when you look at it head on.
On a carousel, the brass ring is always on the rider's right side.
Most champion fencers are left-handed.
The hammered dulcimer calls for the left hand to play a lead role in carrying the melody.
Twenty percent of all Mensa members are left-handed.
England's Queen Victoria was left-handed. She also had the longest reign in British history, 63 years.
In 1811, the first recorded set of Siamese twins was born. They were called Chang and Eng, "Right and Left."
A lefty is less likely to be able to roll their tongue than a right-handed person.
When typing, the left hand does most of the work, as the most popular letters (a,e,r,s,t) are on the left side of the keyboard.
When looking at Michelangelo's David, look at the hand David held his sling in. It seems David was a lefty.
Miss Manners declares that while food id properly served to the left of a guest, it is ok for a left-handed person to request to be served from the right.
The official Boy Scout handshake actually uses the left hand, not the right. The founder of the Scouts was ambidextrous, but he chose the left hand because it is closer to the heart.
On a left-handed person, the nails tend to grow faster on the left hand than on the right hand.
On a standard "qwerty" keyboard, there are 1,447 English words that are typed solely with the left hand. There are only 187 words typed with the right hand alone.
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