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.

5 Replies to “Fun facts about left-handedness”

  1. kurt cobain was a right handed person who played left handed guitars.

  2. curtis mitchell July 7, 2004 at 3:12 am

    i wanted to know if you are you write left-handed but only do things that are right-handed how hard would it be to do it left-handed i know its stupid but i wanted to know because i started doing everthing left-handed but stopped when i was about 8 years old now im a teenager

  3. kurt cobain WAS LEFT-handed, played left handed guitars, and taught himself to write right handed

  4. I am a southpaw and proud of it but I do pretty much everything with my righty. I throw with my right, eat with it, use the scissors with my right. I don’t even know how to use the lefty scissors. They would always give them to me but I hated it. I also notice that I’m the only left I know that doesnt write with my hand all upside down and my wrist bent. I never understood that one.

  5. I’m left handed, but I can use my right hand fairly well. (Can’t write with the right one, though) And I’m proud of it.

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