Did you know that August 13 is International Left Handers Day?
I’m a lefthander, and my dad often called me cack-handed and used to laugh at me if I tried to knit or crochet as I looked very odd. As a very young child, I would just bang knitting needles together to make a clacky noise!
At school I struggled a bit with writing, and I still can’t write today in a straight line, and often I smudge my work ending up with a blob of ink down the side of my hand. This is because unlike some lefthanders, I don’t lift my hand up in that strange writing pose to keep my hand above the writing.
However I’ve never worried about being left-handed at all – it’s just part of who I am.
However, I can’t use left-handed things, and I’m also right handed in certain activities, such as eating with a knife and fork, and playing racquet sport. (I was universally rubbish at sport anyway)!
My granny was left handed and her eldest daughter, my aunt is too. I’m the eldest and I’m left handed and my eldest daughter is also left handed.
6 Negative words lefthanders are often called:
- Sinister – the Latin for left handed, and the Italian is Sinistra.
- Mollydooker – 1940s Australian slang for left handers. Molly is a pet form of Molly, and Dooker, probably comes from ‘duke’ a slang term for fists, in fighting terms. Rather derogatory meaning having fists like a girl.
- Southpaw – in baseball, a lefthanded pitcher, and in boxing a lefthanded boxer who leads with their right hand.
- Gauche – French, which means awkward, clumsy and is also the word for ‘left’.
- Links, Linkisch – German, also meaning awkward.
- Cack-handed – one of the many English terms.
6 Positives of being lefthanded:
- We only make up 10% of the population, however, studies have found that left-handers score higher when it comes to creativity, imagination, daydreaming and intuition.
- Strangely, left-handed stroke sufferers reportedly recover faster. The thinking behind this is, that they have to strengthen both sides of their brain to succeed in a right-handed world. Because many left-handed people are better at using their non-dominant hand, therefore it’s easier for them to recover from a stroke that damages one part of their brain.
- There are a high number of lefthanded Noble Prize winners, writers, artists, musicians, architects and mathematicians, which suggests that left handers are good at complex reasoning and divergent thinking.
- There are online stores devoted to selling practical and novelty items for lefties. They sell lefthanded mugs and kitchen sets, office supplies and backwards watches and clocks. Sadly I find these are often pretty useless for me as I’m so used to living in a right-handed world.
- Several studies have found that left-handers are over-represented in professional interactive sports. Therefore, table tennis, baseball and cricket all sports that require the fastest reaction times, being lefthanded, gives the biggest advantage.
- You can actually join the official left-handers club, who host events across the globe. Activities include left vs right sports matches, a left-handed tea party, and pubs that use only left-handed corkscrews. There is even a Left Handers Club on Facebook, and you have to be a leftie to join no righties allowed!
Albert Einstein is often on lists of famous people who are left-handed, although he was most likely ambidextrous, meaning he could move between hands easily, showing no particular preference for one hand.
A recent study has shown though that left-handed people have a great degree of ambidexterity than right-handers. As already mentioned, probably because they have to live in a righthanded world, so have no choice in the matter.