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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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345 comments on “Left Handed Myths
  1. Allison Parks says:

    Most lefties end up with no problems with anything. Like myself, all lefties have to adapt to a right handed world and become ambidextrous,making us more highly adaptable than right handed people.

    • Eva-Maria Lidl says:

      That is true, I – being left handed and beaten like hell – could not be persuaded to write with the right Hand. However, I could – should I have to, write with the right Hand better then most right handed People with the left. My writing with the left Hand was and obviously still is – more fluent, because it just simply is – for me – naturally. As I said – what does it matter – as Long as one can write ????

  2. Trinity says:

    I’m left handed and NONE of these things are true being left handed is a stuggle because Doors and Cars are meant fo FIGHT HANDED PEOPLE! I’m just a little girl and people tease me for being left handed! so think again on those facts coming from a left-handed girl.
    Love, Your very stuggled left handed friend Trinity

    • Eva-Maria Lidl says:

      Yes, on occasions it is a struggle – I’m an elderly Person now, but do write with the Hand which Comes naturally to you. One always finds a way to adjust Things. Believe me, I do know. In later years, my husband was left handed as well and our daughter is right handed. She always said “in our house is everything the wrong way round”, but we managed very well indeed with no complications what so ever. But having been beaten up at scholl from the teachers and beeing looked up under the stairs because of my left handedness, that did lieave a mark on my Soul.

  3. Maria says:

    I’m a left handed person but no one ever notices it because I don’t write like the average left hander.
    My handwriting is awesome so I have been told and yes I would have to say very understandable
    I love drawing so to a certain point I know I have some artistic in me. And another thing I found out is that everything grows faster on my left side, my hair, my nail.
    I personally think lefthanded people are smart.

    • Eva-Maria Lidl says:

      And do cary on thinking that way, whatever is good for you. I have a slight artistic tendency – and as I Keep saying – when it Comes naturally then it must be right.

  4. Johnny Johnson says:

    You know, I kind of feel offended by this shit

  5. Dieter says:

    Let me tell you about research that I have been doing on lefties for the last 30 years …
    1. Being left-handed / right-handed has nothing to do with being evil or good. I found that it is linked to the age of the mother when the child is born. My studies have shown that an 18-year old mother has a 15% chance to have a lefty, and a 28-year old birth will have a 15% chance of producing a right-handed child, with the cross-over happening in between.
    2. When you start a conversation with lefties regarding them being a lefty, most respond with “because I’m smart” or something similar. This is mostly correct because in most cases the mother was more mature when they were born, and couldn’t be bothered about talking moo-moo or listening to cr^ppy music. They have more sophisticated taste in food, music, language, etc than the younger mothers, which is automatically picked up by the toddler. This sophistication spills over in the lefty’s interest fields, and they often choose a creative career instead of a structured career, e.g. Art, Accounting instead of Engineering.
    3. The number of lefthanders is increasing, because the new generation tend to get their careers underway and become mothers at a later age, resulting in more lefties being born. Yet the world is not changing the ergonomics of items to suit the lefties. A good example is the layout of a camera. Although many professional photographers are left-handed, the controls are still on the right side of the camera. Missed business opportunities by Canon, etc??
    These are just some of my observations over many years …..

  6. Dino Belle says:

    That explained why all this year’s I had a hard time tiding shoe’s and using scissor. I have the good and bad for lefty I use my left side for everything I do, except writing. very few things I use with my right hand is very difficult to so. I’ve been told my brain is functioning in both ways.

  7. 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!!!

    • Ke'Nijah Kyles says:

      I absolutely hate the 3 ring binders. I also hate when the does get on the side of my hand. It’s very frustrating. But I can write faster and neater than my right handed friends. It doesn’t seem right that we left handed people don’t have as much stuff to help us as the right handed people. Yeah they have left handed pens but is that all?

    • Trinity says:

      You got that right when your in school everyone looks at you like a freak! Every time i;m writing or drawing everyone asks me “Oh my god! your left-handed” and that really hurts my feelings because not everyone in the world is left-handed

      • Tasha says:

        I feel for you Trinity. I get the same treatment, maybe worse. My advice is to tell them that your just a special kind of human and their ordinary,so they should be jealous of you, not making to feel like an island.

        Power to the Left-handers.

    • Samantha says:

      I had it really bad off because I’m left handed and I had a teacher that was catholic so she tried to force me to be right handed. I was the only one in that class that was left handed so I felt like an outsider and so alone. I didn’t have friends for the first four years of school because I was singled out like that. I was even told that I was going to hell because I had the devil inside me. All of this because I’m left handed. I didn’t let it get to me though and it has made me a stronger person in the end. Now I’m officially ambidextrous like my uncle and I’m proud of that.

  8. 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’.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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!

    • ekerette says:

      @olive. You spoke my mind. We share similar characteristic and experiences. Ooop. Obama must here this!

    • Nadine says:

      I turn my page completely sideways also. I’ve never written upside down.

    • Jessica says:

      It made me laugh to read that you too can write upside down! I use to do this in elementary school; while we were learning our alphabet and on through to essay time. However every time the teacher would catch me writing upside down I would get into trouble. Once I was even threatened that I would get points taken off unless I stopped! Lol it’s nice not to feel all alone! ;D
      Your fellow leftie,
      Jessica

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. Carol says:

    I love being left handed

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. Dave says:

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

  22. Mike says:

    Im left-handed, possess a Simian Line on my right hand, and have a Leo Zodiac Sign. Am i still human?

  23. Kimberly says:

    Hi my name is Kimberly, me and my two brothers are all left handers and my mum but my dad is right handed, i heard that 3 children that are all left-handed is rare. i think i am different because i am weird, i can sense things, i even premenitions but i don’t know i have had it before just it has happened until the moment before.

    • keiya says:

      Me, my 2 brothers , nd my mom are all lefties and nobody else down our family are lefties and I think that’s agood thing but also a bad thing because lefties often fear the worse nd never look on the brighter side of things.

  24. maggie says:

    Hi, A message for Angela, apparently we lefties live on average 7 yrs less that right handed people. We also have more fatal accidents because we live in a right handed world!
    I have donated a dress to charity today, worn only once, it had a zip on the left, from the waist to underarm. Awkward enough for anyone, but impossible for a left hander as I could not rach over and use my right hand without getting the fabric caught in the zip. I had to cut myself out of it as I was stuck! Anyone else have any clothing fastener problems?

    • Eda says:

      Hi Maggie,
      I have this high-waist black mini skirt I’ve adored for years but the darn zipper is located on the left side, so whenever I try to wear it I almost always cut myself…It’s really a shame.

  25. Anna says:

    It’s perfectly true that MENSA believes that about 20% of their members are left handed, but between 30% and 10% (uncertainty due to countries where the majority of people can’t write) of the worlds population is left handed, so there isn’t really much ‘only’ about it.

  26. barent says:

    i’m a righty[lefty politically] who has had a lot of left handed friends. i find that left handed people tend to be left-brained[left hemisphere dominant] and mechanistic in their way of processing reality. the one’s i’ve met don’t really seem to care much about, or believe in anything esoteric. none of them can dance to save their lives. [i speak from a small sampling of course,so i don’t assume all lefties are like this]. yet,it does seem as if there is some[or a lot]of truth to some of the “stereotypes”. we’ve got this fetish in america, of thinking that because something is called a stereotype that it can’t be true. it stems from a self conciousness about racism,which is understandable,yet ironicly and sadly,keeps us from talking about it….but i digress.

4 Pings/Trackbacks for "Left Handed Myths"
  1. […] It is thought to be bad luck to pass a drink to another person with your left-hand or anti-clockwise around a table. -( See more at: https://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/being-lh/lh-info/myths.html#sthash.aTTIzUJF.dpuf) […]

  2. […]        Concluding my opinion, I’m sure all of you would consider me over reacting but it’s just a start. If you think about it, lefties aren’t always supported or called in society and they never make a stand in what should be justified. I want someone to make a change and make everyone feel welcome and confident in who they are, not just because of one difference while comparing two people. I know that not being included in fairness for left handed people isn’t as serious as a lot of other situations but it’s still a say in a problem, just one in a million.  https://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/being-lh/lh-info/myths.html#sthash.RXxVXGN0.mlovWTFU.dpbs […]

  3. 5 Facts About Left-Handers Like Me says:

    […] 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. The Nigerian Prejudice against Left-Handed People | i2sabi.com says:

    […] 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 […]

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