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Left handed myths and misunderstandings

It is NOT a myth that left-handers have trouble with all sorts of everyday articles and tools. Have a look at our range of fully left-handed items to see how we can help solve the problems.

 

Left-handers do tend to do badly whenever there is any talk of superstition or things that cannot be understood.

Folklore and Superstitions
Superstitions that are IN FAVOUR of Lefties
Social behaviour
Religion
Animals
Trivia

Folklore and Superstitions

For thousands of years, the Devil has been associated with the left hand in various ways and is normally portrayed as being left-handed in pictures and other images. In the seventeenth century it was thought that the Devil baptised his followers with his left-hand and there are many references in superstitions to the “left-hand side” being associated with evil. As an example, in France it was held that witches greet Satan “avec le bras gauche” or with the left hand. It is also considered that we can only see ghosts if we look over our left shoulder and that the Devil watches us over the left shoulder.

  • Evil spirits lurk over the left shoulder – throw salt over this shoulder to ward them off. In Roman times, salt was a very valuable commodity, giving rise to the word “salary” and was considered a form of money at the time. If salt was spilled, that was considered very bad luck, that could only be avoided by throwing some of the spilled salt over your left shoulder to placate the devil.
  • Joan of Arc (burned at the stake in 1431 for being a heretic and a witch) was not necessarily left-handed, she may have been depicted in this way to make her seem evil.
  • Getting out of bed with the left foot first means that you will have a bad day and be bad tempered . i.e. getting out of bed the wrong side.
  • A ringing in the right ear means that someone is praising you. In the left ear it means that someone is cursing or maligning you.
  • An itchy right palm means that you will receive money. An itchy left palm means you will have to give money.
  • Wedding rings worn on the third finger of the left hand originated with the Greeks and Romans, who wore them to fend of evil associated with the left-hand
  • The Romans originally considered the left to be the lucky side and used for augury. However, they later changed back to the Greek methods and favoured the right-hand side.
  • The right hand often symbolises ‘male’ while the left hand is ‘female’.
  • If you hear the sound of a cuckoo from the right it will be a lucky year. If the sound comes from the left it will be unlucky.
  • The Meru people of Kenya believed that the left-hand of their holy man has such evil power that he had to keep it hidden for the safety of others.
  • If your right eye twitches you will see a friend, if it’s your left eye that twitches you’ll see an enemy.
  • When dressmaking it’s believed to be bad luck to sew the left-hand sleeve onto a garment before the right sleeve.
  • When leaving to go on a journey, if your right foot itches you’re bound to have a good journey. If your left foot itches it will end in sorrow.
  • It is thought to be bad luck to pass a drink to another person with your left-hand or anti-clockwise around a table.

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Superstitions that are IN FAVOUR of Lefties

  • Anyone who digs coal out of the ground from under his or her left foot in the Spring will have very good luck.
  • If you apply an ointment with the forefinger of the right hand the sore will not heal. This is because this finger is said to be the ‘poison’ finger.
  • The ancient Zuni tribe considered left-handedness a sign of good luck. They believed the left was the older and wiser

Social behaviour

  • Passing or pouring wine with the left hand leads to bad luck.
  • A left-handed toast is tantamount to a curse on the victim.
  • Driving on the left – started so that horse riders could use their whips in the right-hand to fend off other road users – see more about this

Religion

  • Christianity is strongly based towards the right hand. It is the right had that gives the blessing and make the sign of the cross.
  • On one count, the bible contains over 100 favourable reference to the right-hand and 25 unfavourable references to the left-hand. E.g.: The right hand of the lord doeth valiantly, the right hand of the lord is exalted (Psalm 118 vv15,16)
  • The left hand does worst in the parable of the sheep and goats. The sheep are set on Christ’s right hand and the goats on the left. Those on the right inherit the kingdom of god while those on the left depart into everlasting fire (to quote Matthew 25: verse 41: Then he will say unto those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”)
  • The situation is much the same in Judaism and Islam. In Islam, the left hand and everything associated with it is seen as unclean. This stems from the Middle Eastern custom of using the left-hand and water instead of toilet paper and, more recently, of using the left handed to hold toilet paper for the same function.   This is the origin of the term “cack-handed

Animals

  • We have had a report that the majority of parrots are left-footed – does any one know anything about this or any other animal left-handed facts?
  • There is also a report of polar bears being left-handed, but we need to get more information.

Trivia

  • Officials in Mensa, the high IQ society believe as many as 20% of their members are left-handed.
  • The first recorded Siamese twins born in 1811 were joined at the waist. Their names? Chang and Eng, which simply meant ‘Left and Right’
  • The figurehead on the Cutty Sark is a left-handed witch.
  • Studies have shown that left-handers are more likely to have allergies than right-handers – aahtishoooo!!
  • Most left-handers, when drawing figures face them to the right.

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319 comments on “Left Handed Myths
  1. Deej says:

    Being left handed sucks if you’re in school. Why? Here’s why: You get ink/pencil on the side of your hand, 3 RONG BINDERS (the worst enemy of all), right handed desks (which should be burned by the lefties as vengeance for mistreatment), and playing sports. And for a fact, I write far neater, faster and more precise, than any of my righty friends. (I honestly can’t read their handwriting it sucks so bad.) and they say my handwriting sucks because they know it’s better.

    Lefty gang or GTFO!!!

  2. muzzy4 says:

    Oh, I forgot the one question with the Hebrew men being L-handed in the Old Testament – that would have meant that the females were also L-handed and thus ‘in a better spiritual condition’. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case, so I can only surmise that women were ‘double-devil’ at the beginning because of the sin and only after Christ came did one side (L) ‘straighten up and fly right’.

  3. muzzy4 says:

    Hi ~

    I, too, have an interest in left-handedness from the spiritual persepctive. So far, I’ve seen the following ideas:

    That men and women carry their two selves on ‘mirror sides’. So, the man’s good spirit is on his R and devil on the L. For females, the good spirit is on the L and the devil on the R.

    I often wondered about cultures that write from R to L, like Hebrew. Hebrew interests me, in particular, because of the Bible. It appears that Jewish men were primarily L-handed in the Old Testament. And male R-handedness may have become dominant after a ‘long period of adjustment’ after spiritual changes after Jesus’ arrival-departure. (And in cultures like the Essenes before Jesus came.) And then R-handed men started developing ‘higher thinking’, like in Greece.

    So, it was in the best interest for men to kill witches who were L-handed because they did not want them spiritually connected to their ‘good’ side – it seems that a ‘prophetess’ will be L-handed. A R-handed woman would be looser morally, and men tend to favor such results, dontcha know.

    Oh, another thing you may find interesting… Check out artists like DaVinci and other greats and look at the R foot on many, many of the female figures. It will either be cocked outward or, most often – it’ll be a goat’s foot and the R hand twisted/scrawny in some way. If you look at Vitruvian Man by DaVinci, the male’s L foot is crooked and his R foot straight. Wikipedia helps a great deal in making the increased magnification VERY large. I thank them silently often.

    I’ve spent a lifetime trying to figure out where the rage in me comes from. I am (mousy-blond) R-handed but don’t know if it’s from birth or training. I’m youngest only female with three older brothers – one of whom is red-haired and L-handed. His wife is L-handed and spiritually connected (Bible, not as a prophetess). But what I do have is the R foot everted, like my mother (who is L-handed also). I’ve trained it to walk straight since feeling self-conscious about it since high school (intuitive, as I didn’t know about sinister stuff then) – but I always know it’s there just waiting for an opportunity to ‘show off’.

    I enjoyed your article – particularly the parrot and polar bear example, as I’ve often run across quotes about women being ‘parrots’. Someday, maybe someone will give us the Answers instead of just deepening the questions, eh? LOL

  4. Kaysie says:

    Both my parents are left handed so when I found that God had called a left handed man to save Israel it was special to me and stayed in my memory. In Judges 3:12-31 you find the story of Ehud a left handed messenger. It goes on to tell of how God used him to free the Israelites from under the rule of the Moabite king. I thought this would be an interesting fact for people like me who are fascinated in all things left handed.

  5. jim says:

    tape measures were made for righthanders but favour lefthanders.When held in the right hand it leaves the left hand free to mark off measurments.

  6. mist says:

    Left handers thought considered as evil followers from the past but in the recent times, they prove to be better adapted to the world created by right handers. In the modern world, it is clearly seen that the left handers are much more flexible than right handers, and they are at higher positions in the society, as actors or even politicians or scientists.

  7. Tony Dahlinvenice says:

    I was left-handed until I started grammar school, St. Mark’s Catholic Church Grammar School. The nuns there quoted me the Bible and told me in so many words “… The left hand is not right!” Tony Dahlin Venice

  8. Kate says:

    I always get funny looks followed by the comment “ooh I’ve never seen anyone write like that before!” If I have to fill any forms out or sign my name. The reason? I turn the page sideways to write. I can write upside down to if I really want to freak them out. And don’t forget our future King Prince William is a leftie!

  9. olive says:

    am left-handed and this is really scary so i really dont want to think about this cause most of it is true!

  10. NANCY says:

    i am not, but all 4 of my siblings were left handed, my sister, my aunt, and I are rh-neh–a very rare type blood–also wwe’re red headed/blond/red–irish/sccotts–freckled. red hair is recessive as is rh-neg blood. the spanish word for let is izquierda –which means sinister. and if you research it–here you find–I am quoting here–”
    Feb 22, 2012 – ASK A QUESTION Etymology for the Word Izquierda … the reason they chose to use izquierda over the latin siniestra (I’m sure they … and a left-handed person (“zurdo” in Spanish), also the “left wing” party. … In heraldry, the word “sinister” means left hence the old term “bar sinister” meaning illegitimacy.
    Use of “izquierda” not Latin “sinister” in Spanish – WordReference .. forum.wordreference.com › … › Etymology and History of Languages‎
    Feb 20, 2013 – 19 posts – 7 authors
    I don’t know but I doubt it’s because the Latin word was taboo, I think it’s just an …. Are these occurrences of siniestro just with the meaning of left, … eskerr left Hand is indeed the source of Spanish esquerro, izquierdo and …
    Al final de la calle a la izquierda right hand corner, left hang corner left hand doesn’t know…

    Right and Left 10 posts 8 posts 5 posts 20 posts May 17, 2012 Dec 21, 2009 Nov 16, 2009 Aug 16, 2006
    List of Spanish words of Basque/Iberian origin – Wikipedia, the free … en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Spanish_words_of…/Iberian_origin‎
    Some of these words existed in Latin as loanwords from other languages. … century. agur “goodbye” (from Basque agur with the same meaning) (DRAE). aizcolari (cf. …. Recent loanword; izquierdo, -a “left” (cf. …. Recent loanword; zurdo “left-handed” (also Galician mao xurda ‘left hand’, Portuguese surro, churro, churdo; cf.

  11. Carol says:

    I love being left handed

  12. Ashleigh Dent says:

    I’m left handed, and I feel special. Judah there are superstitions in my religion too, yet I was the only one who was left handed in my class and am in my family!

  13. Genie says:

    I have read that scientists used to believe that being left handed meant that you killed your twin in the womb. They figured since it is very common for one twin to be right handed and the other left handed that the only explanation was the left handed one “murdered” its sibling.

  14. Chex says:

    It is not true that left-handed people have a shorter life span. That theory by Coren and Halpern was disproved in the early 1990’s. And I too have had problems with clothing. Pants generally have the zipper on the right side of the little flap, however I own one pair of pleated pants that threw me all off.

  15. Dave says:

    My late mother used to get me to throw salt over my left shoulder if i knocked the salt cellar over.

19 Pings/Trackbacks for "Left Handed Myths"
  1. […] Oral traditions worldwide  associate left-handedness with evil. The Inuit/Eskimos allegedly view every lefty as a potential sorcerer.” Moroccans consider left-handers to be cursed from birth. The Meru people of Kenya deem their witch doctor’s left hand as containing tremendous power to harm. Occultic traditions throughout Europe dictate that curses and spells be cast with the left hand. […]

  2. […] been also have been accused of being in league with the Devil. So there's also that correlation. Myths about being left-handed | Anything Left-Handed __________________ "I just came here from Deep River, Ontario, and now I'm in this dream […]

  3. […] Oral traditions worldwide  associate left-handedness with evil. The Inuit/Eskimos allegedly view every lefty as a potential sorcerer.” Moroccans consider left-handers to be cursed from birth. The Meru people of Kenya deem their witch doctor’s left hand as containing tremendous power to harm. Occultic traditions throughout Europe dictate that curses and spells be cast with the left hand. […]

  4. […] Oral traditions worldwide associate left-handedness with evil. The Inuit/Eskimos allegedly view every lefty a “potential sorcerer.” Moroccans consider left-handers to be cursed from birth. The Meru people of Kenya deem their witch doctor’s left hand as containing tremendous power to harm. Occultic traditions throughout Europe dictate that curses and spells be cast with the left hand. […]

  5. […] that this isn’t just a Nigerian thing”. In Japan, the Hindu religion, Arab culture and so on, left hand bias exists in different forms and to different degrees. As a matter of fact I read an […]

  6. […] stigmas attached to left-handedness meant they were singled out as everything from unclean to witches. In Medieval times, writing with your left-hand was a surefire way to be accused of being possessed […]

  7. […] stigmas attached to left-handedness meant they were singled out as everything from unclean to witches. In Medieval times, writing with your left-hand was a surefire way to be accused of being possessed […]

  8. […] at birth you see, and growing up in a Catholic country back in the day, left-handers would be associated with the devil. It’s quite funny but there are small things that I still naturally do with my left hand rather […]

  9. […] ME: I agree with the idea that “humans are hard wired to be spiritual in some manner.” Possibly non-related chemical reactions might be the reason, but it might simply be the NEED and/or URGE to have a god taking care of us. Now excuse my ignorance and/or confusion, but what does IE stand for?You’ve got good and valid points on Jesus. I’ve got to admit that some of your ideas have also crossed my mind at some point or another. Then again, the mystery of the [Trinity] says that God is present in THREE PERSONS, which sounds confusing, If you replace the word “PERSONS” for “MANIFESTATIONS,” it sort of makes more sense. It’s much easier to understand that God is present in THREE MANIFESTATIONS — God present in all places, all knowing, all mighty, creator of Heaven and Earth (the whole cosmos, of course); incarnate in the body of Jesus ; and His spirit referred to as the Holy Spirit. Well at least, this is how the [Trinity ] makes sense to me. I don’t see anything wrong with tattoos or body modification except for circumcision. The latter’s not natural. It’s like cutting one’s left hand because it’s dirty (Muslim concept) or evil. “For thousands of years, the Devil has been associated with the left hand in various ways and is normally portrayed as being left-handed in pictures and other images. In the seventeenth century it was thought that the Devil baptised his followers with his left-hand and there are many references in superstitions to the ‘left-hand side’ being associated with evil. As an example, in France it was held that witches greet Satan ‘avec le bras gauche’ or with the left hand. It is also considered that we can only see ghosts if we look over our left shoulder and that the Devil watches us over the left shoulder.”http://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/lh-info/myths.html#sthash.U4WjPepv.dpuf […]

  10. […] (source:  http://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/lh-info/myths.html) Share this:EmailPrintDiggLinkedInRedditStumbleUponTumblrPinterestTwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  11. […] be wrong. It could be a remnant of the persecution left-handers have endured from the ignorant, superstitious people who seem to have dominated accepted thought for most of history. Nah! It’s probably […]

  12. […] Left handed myths and misunderstandings […]

  13. […] Facts About Left Handed PeopleLeft handed people sometimes have a lot of prejudice towards them due to cultural beliefs or superstition about using the left hand. For a long time, left handed writing was frowned upon. If children were writing left handed, they […]

  14. […] lefty also – so I guess I'm a devils child too. Maybe that explains why I like red bikes. Myths about being left-handed | Anything Left-Handed Reply With Quote   + Reply to […]

  15. […] left handed people over at  http://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk  have a very nice article about the myths surronding that horrible  scourge  on society, the […]

  16. […] hand of their holy man is so evil he must keep it hidden.  There’s a lot more in that vein here, from the UK site of Anything Left Handed, who used to have a magical shop in Soho, in London that […]

  17. Myths about being left-handed | Anything Left-Handed | Vi Wickam - Left-Handed Fiddling Online Marketing Strategist says:

    […] http://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/lh-info/myths.html […]

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