Anything Left-Handed > Lefty information > Left Handed Myths

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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333 comments on “Left Handed Myths
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Aj says:

    My Dad, parental & maternal grandmother, aunts were left handed. My mother is right handed but she
    Writes like an left handed person. When I was little she let me choose which handed I wanted to use and my choice was right handed. It’s weird because I come from a family
    of left handers. There are more females in my family than
    males (people believe if you have more than 7 generation of women born than you are witches) and we have had a lot of lost in the family mostly the left handed members
    I am also a Virgo so I think alot. My left handed family member are and were some of the greatest people you would ever want to meet. True southern hospitality.

  6. Aaron says:

    im a lefty but i dont believe that im evil the evilness dependsds
    on your faith not with your hand so if theres any religous lefties out there
    just ignore satan

    but if this myth is true im going to go right

  7. Icia Molloy says:

    I was a student in a roman catholic convent primary school. In one class, whenever I unthinkingly made the sign of the cross with my left hand, the nun freaked out, exclaiming I was a child of the devil.
    I observed in her freak-out, her face distorted into something quite unpleasant.

  8. Danesha says:

    Are you right handed because it seems that way. Also dont be hating on us because we invented more stuff than you guys that why people say lefts are involed with the devil because you guys are haters but that what i think.

  9. Alexander says:

    If 20% of Mensa’s members are left-handed doesn’t that mean that 80% are right-handed? Did that occur to anyone perchance?

    • Teri says:

      I took that to reference that the general population only has 10% left handed people, so if 20% were in Mensa that is double then the average population of left handed people. If I understand that correct….

  10. fiona says:

    I am left handed and very proud! I believe lucky left handers are more arty, more imaginitive, more caring, open minded, sensitive and very special 8-D x

    • Angela says:

      I agree with you. I’m left handed and proud of it too!

    • tate says:

      I couldnt agree more left handed people are very artistic, talented, sweet, smart, and funny i know because i am also left handed and i really love being left handed and theres nothing bad about it.

    • Rachel says:

      I agree, I’m left handed ad I hate people who write things about us saying we are stupid, we can’t comprehend stuff when the truth is they are right handed and they are haters. We are special and I love being a Lefty!

    • Net says:

      most of criminals are right-handed, cheaters, liars, etc. there more right-handed people aren’t there? being a lefty is evil, so what is their excuse? “huh”?

      • Marissa says:

        Oh bullcrap i dont believe in those stuff… HEY STOP CALLING US EVIL.OR STUPID >:O. ….WE ARE ARE NOT.!!!!!!. >:( IM LEFTY and… Lefty are just like normal people just like right handed people it dosent matter.. .. AND NO.. we are not devil worshipper so yeah.. Left handed and right handed people are just like everyone else.. it just part of brains.. i mean like come on people.. its just compatible.. geez.. and hey I’m christian.. catholic. im god/jesus/mary. archangels worship and i love them always. God is awesome and forever always will.. yes. proud to be lefty ^_^… no matter what and never give up..

        LEFTY RULEZ 😀

  11. Angela says:

    Someone told me once that left-handed people don’t live as long as right-handed people do. Has anyone else heard of this?

  12. Kyle says:

    I once was one that had my left hand tied so that I would be made to use my right hand…

    • Tuttie says:

      When I used to eat my food as a toddler, my mom would take the spoon from my left and put it in my right hand. I would just keep switching it back to my left…Sorry Ma, I’m a LEFTY!!!

      • Tiffany says:

        Same thing happened to me as a child. My mom would switch the crayon, spoon or whatever I was using at the time to my right hand, but since I would always switch it back to my left – she eventually let me be left-handed, for which I am very grateful. I have a photo of me when I was 2 or 3 years old coloring with my left hand. Proud to be a lefty!

  13. Kelly says:

    I am ambidextrous and do most things with my left hand. I was forced to write with my right hand as a child so now write neater with my right but can still write fairly legibly with my left. I prepare fresh vegetables with a knife with my right hand but all other food prep and eating is left handed. Sports is left handed for me except holding a tennis racket which I am able to favour both hands. I HATE right handed can openers can only use a left handed one and people look at me with annoyance and anger sometimes. 🙂

  14. Ana says:

    You right handed people are so left handed racist. It’s like well you look normal but your a lefty, so go to hell. Just because most people are righties, don’t mean yall get to treat us like trash.

  15. Andrew says:

    Kofi, I am left-handed, but play golf right-handed. I play tennis left-handed, but I play cricket, hockey and baseball right-handed. I throw with my left.
    If you see where I am going here, you will see that what I am saying is that we are victims of our surroundings. I was taught many of these things when young, and, therefore, learned to do them with my right hand. Those that I was not taught early in life were things I did with my left.
    That said, there is a possibility that you are partially ambidextrous, but perhaps you should ask your parents if they taught you to use your right over your left…..that is what happened to my mother.

    • Lucy says:

      In softball, I pitch and throw left but bat right. And im a natural left handed person.
      my boyfriend is naturally right handed person, but in baseball he pitches and throws and bats left. Crazy right?

  16. gillian says:

    If other Indians show you disrespect for being left-handed, tell them , “MAHATMA GHANDI was left handed.” If they are in favour of the British Royal family, tell them that Queen Eliazbeth 2nd, Prince Charles, and Prince William are left-handed. So were the Queen’s parents.

  17. Phoebe says:

    I have just discovered this site, I was not made change at school, my mum had polio as a little kid it effected her [R] hand/arm so she was /is a leftie me when I was born my [R] shoulder was hurt so I am a leftie the only one of 5 kids. My 1st son is a leftie when he was learning to use eating tools, I was worried that I might be making him a lefty so I would put his spoon etc. in the middle so he had to choose. His kinda teacher told me to help him chose which hand he was going to use was to spend some time throwing him a ball so he would choose, so we spent a few hour over a couple of weeks when he first started kinda, and he is a big strong man who enjoys being a leftie, my partner is also a leftie so the house is very left hand even the cat he is a south paw.

  18. NANCY says:

    In the pharmacy world, on prescriptions the Latin word used for the left is ‘sinister;’ the abbrevation code you see written – the letter “S”. For example, ‘AS’ denotes the left ear, while ‘OS’ denotes the left eye.

    • gillian says:

      I find it interesting that the Romans had a pocket on the left side of their toga, and sinus [pocket] and sinister come from the same root. I would think if the majority were right handed, it would be more convenient to have the pocket on the right side.

  19. Courtney says:

    Left handed people are awsome!!!! And smart!!!! 🙂

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  22. johnrocker237 says:

    Wow. I am left-handed and I have no allergies. Yay!

  23. Jemma. says:

    I’m left-handed.
    But I see it as lucky…

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  25. Autumn says:

    I’m left handed and found out that Leonardo da vinchi was left handed too it was interesting so I decided to check it out

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  28. Ellie says:

    I’m in 6th grade and last year my teacher was left handed. So, yeah. Yay for me! 🙂

    • Ana says:

      I’m a 12 year old left handed girl, and it kinda bothers me when I see people use their right hand. Whenever I watch a movie I always seem to notice which actor/actress is left handed.

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  30. kandi says:

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    • Vishal Sathyan says:

      That means Barack Obama, David Cameron, George H.W. Bush (Bush I or Bush, Sr.), Clinton, Gerald Ford, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Yuvraj Singh, etc. are evil. Isn’t it right? No……………… Because all lefties are not evil. My mother is lefty, but she is not an evil woman. I had two lefty friends, Abhijith Mahipal and Akshay Mohan, but both of them are not evil men.