If left-handedness was a religion, we would be second to Christianity as the most popular and accepted belief in Australia.
It is generally accepted that the hand you write with defines your handedness. However, many people use their other hand for other major activities, such as throwing a ball or batting.
It is estimated that approximately 12% of the world's population is left-handed.
If you are ambidextrous, you can perform almost all tasks equally with both hands. Less than 1% of the population is truly ambidextrous.
Left-handers generally wear their wristwatch on the right arm. This is to prevent the paper from catching on the watchband and tearing whilst writing. It also protects the watch as the right hand is used for fewer tasks and is therefore less likely to be bumped and damaged. For most of us, we also use our more nimble left hand to buckle the strap so wearing it on the right wrist makes even more sense!
Left-handers are generally more capable of using their right hand for tasks than right-handers are using their left hand.
Males are slightly more likely to be left-handed than females.
Your chances of being born left-handed increase with your parent's left-handedness:
- no lefty parents: less than 5%
- father lefty, mother righty: about 20%
- mother lefty, father righty: about 25%
- both lefty parents: about 45%
Women's clothes button up on the opposite side to men's clothing. This comes from Victorian times when the English upper class ladies were dressed by their right-handed maids.
Throwing salt over the left shoulder is supposed to ward off evil spirits that lurk there.
Pouring wine with the left hand is supposed to bring bad luck.
A left-handed toast is said to be insincere or even wishing evil against the recipient.
Most climbing plants entwine to the right. Honeysuckle entwines to the left.
It is against the rules to play polo left-handed.
One in four Apollo astronauts were left-handed - more than twice the general population.
The Scouting handshake is with the left hand. Their founder (Lord Baden-Powell) learned while in Africa that this was a demonstration between tribes of great trust and friendship and he thought this would be a great gesture for Scouts to use.
Most of The Muppets characters are left-handed. This is because most of the Muppeteers are right-handed, using their right hand inside the head and their left arm for limb movements.
The animal kingdom also has its left-handers. Gorillas are the only species on Earth that are left-hand dominant. Nearly half of all polar bears, chimpanzees and cats show a preference for the left side.
Most mollusc shells twist from left to right.
To open a screw-top jar or bottle, grasp the lid with your left hand and the jar with your right. You will have greater strength due to the stronger muscles used in supination of the forearm (as opposed to the weaker muscles of pronation). It is also sometimes described as the external rotation of the wrist.
Coffin screws are traditionally a left-handed thread.
The greatest of the Arapaho Indians in America was Chief Left Hand, so named from his childhood habit of using his left hand.
Only 30% of left-handers write using the 'hooked' position, where the hand is higher on the page to the words being written.
The left foot is less ticklish than the right.
The famous Australian children's entertainment group, Hi-5, uses a left hand in their emblem.
Tradition has it that Santa Claus holds onto the left side of his nose to go back up the chimney.
The ancient Celts, whose priests and priestesses worshipped nature, viewed the left-hand side as sacred, the source of all life.
'Stewardesses' is the longest word in the English language that is typed using only the left hand.