Fun facts about left-handedness
I was digging through some files lying around on my web server, and I found this little bit of research I did a couple years ago on the fascinating topic of lefthandedness. (I am a righty, but I always got stuck with the left-handed scissors in elementary school.) Some fun stuff here:
In many cultures eating with the left hand is an insult to the host.
In Hebrew, a left-hander is referred to as “Eetair yad Yemino”, or “one who is not right-handed.”
The Latin word for left is sinister. The French word is gauche. Both carry negative connotations in English.
There are more left-handers, in proportion to the general population, in western, industrialized societies than elsewhere in the world — likely because left-handness is more stigmatized in other places.
Males are about one and a half times more likely to be lefthanded than are females.
Bart Simpson is a southpaw, according to creator Matt Groening (who is one himself).
In baseball, left-handers are called “southpaws” because most early stadiums were constructed so the setting sun would be behind the batter, meaning a pitcher would stand on the mound with his left hand facing south.
While Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller and John F. Kennedy were right-handers, they all loved a lefty: Marilyn Monroe.
Incidentally, JFK Jr. was, and Caroline Kennedy is, left-handed.
The game of jai-alai prohibits left-handers from playing (or, more accurately, requires them to wear the cesta, aka the ball-launching device, on their right hands), because the wall is on the left hand side of the court.
The surviving half of the Beatles (Paul and Ringo) are lefties. So was Kurt Cobain.
2000 presidential also-rans Bill Bradley and Steve Forbes prefer their left hands.
Great military leaders such as Norman Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell (and Caesar) are sinistrals, too. But, then again, so is Ollie North (and Napoleon).
Bill Gates can count his scruples on his left hand. So could Henry Ford.
And now for the Mississippi connection (you knew there’d be one): Oprah is a lefty.