13 Aug 2015


Also known as 'mancinism', and 'sinistromanuality', colloquialisms include 'cack-handed' (derived from the Latin 'cacere' meaning to defecate), 'skivvy-handed' 'kaggy-fisted' and 'southpaw'.

Historically seen as ...
  • a nasty habit
  • a mark of the devil
  • a sign of neurosis, rebellion and criminality
The word left was derived from the Anglo Saxon word 'lyft' meaning weak. 

In European medieval Witchcraft texts it was said that it was the left hand that was used to curse another. The devil himself using his left hand to give a benediction.

The Latin adjective 'sinister/sinistra/sinistrum' originally meant left but later took on the meaning of 'evil' or 'unlucky'. 

'Mancino', The Italian word for a left-hander, means treacherous whilst the German word, 'linkisch', means awkward.

Cesare Lombroso, a nineteenth century Italian criminologist famously spoke of 'left handedeness being a stigma of degeneracy'.

Scientific papers published as late as 1980 claimed that life expectancy was nine years less. Thankfully this was later discredited when it was found the authors of the report failed to take into account that the older people they examined were less likely to admit to their 'condition' due to the stigma.

Thankfully no longer such a stigma, today, August 13th is .....

But did you know?
  • Depending on which site you look at between 5% and 10%/10% and 12% of the earth's population is left-handed
  • According to a AA (Automobile Association) report 57% of British left-handers pass their test first time compared to 48% of right-handers
  • Four of the last five USA presidents have been left handed
  • Left-handed American college graduates are said to go on to become 26% richer than their right-handed counterparts
  • On a standard keyboard there are 1447 English words typed solely with the left hand compared to 187 with the right
  • The only other animal to show a distinct right/left preference is the parrot with tests showing that 90% of birds preferred to use their left foot for picking up food.
Join the Left Handers Club for free here


    Suko said...

    Happy Left-Handers Day! My daughters are southpaws. What a fun post!

    Kelly said...

    Lots of fascinating information here! I have one grandchild who is showing a preference for his left had, so we shall see. All the rest of us are "righties". However...while I don't claim to be truly ambidextrous, I do many things with my left hand and can write legibly with it.

    Shooting Stars Mag said...

    Interesting facts! My dad is left handed, and it looks like my niece will be too. :)


    Melissa (Books and Things) said...

    You mean 12% of the world is the minions of the devil? LOL I've always found that myth strange.

    Happy Lefty Day!

    Brian Joseph said...

    Happy belated Left Hander Day Tracy.

    When one stops to think about it. The phenomena of Left Handedness is a illustrates such fascinating things about both our brains and about genetics.

    The history of how the world has handled left handedness is also very interesting.

    Gina R said...

    Isn't it funny how such a small thing is made into such a big deal? Highly doubtful left handed folks are evil or weak, for goodness sakes. Hope everyone has a fab lefty day!

    Literary Feline said...

    I didn't know that about parrots. :-) I told my 4 year old yesterday about International Lefthander's Day. She was sad she can't be left-handed like me.