From being odd to discrimination to insults, to been dubbed “Abnormal or evil” the lefties’ struggle from time immemorial is real.
To mark International Left-Handers Day, which falls every year on August 13, here’s some 10 lovely left-leaning facts. So take a moment to pause and appreciate the plight of your left-handed friends and family living in a right-handed world.
1.) Christianity traditionally associated the left with evil through its description of a Last Judgement where the damned (“goats”) are sent to the left, and the saved (“sheep”) to the right.
2.) Just 10 per cent of the world’s population is left-handed and this has remained roughly the case for thousands of years. Men are also more likely to be left-handed.
3.) Wedding rings worn on the third finger of the left hand originated with the Greeks and Romans, who wore them to fend off evil associated with the left-hand.
4.) The word sinister comes from the Latin word “sinestra” which originally meant “left” but took on meanings or “evil” or “unlucky.”
5.) Historically left-handed people were considered inferior, with the use of the left hand being associated with witchcraft.
6.) Left-hand shakes are a sign of disrespect. This derives from the Middle Ages where people used to use their left hand to wipe after going to the toilet. Also giving things with left hand is a sign of an omen especially many cultures in Africa.
7.) Five out of the last seven US presidents write with their left-hand- Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
8.) The term “left- wing” dates from the 1790s, when in the French revolutionary parliament the socialist representatives sat to the presiding officer’s left. Leftists at this time were considered hostile to the interests of traditional elites.
9.) A left-handed compliment is a criticism couched as a compliment; otherwise known as a backhanded compliment, such as “you are very competent for someone so inexperienced.”
10.) There’s even a place called Left Hand. It’s in Virginia, US but sadly the town isn’t named after its left-handed community. It’s actually named after nearby Lefthand Run creek.