The Left-Hander's Lexicon

The word “left” is thought to have derived from the Latin word laevus, which means ‘the shield’ or ‘lucky side’.  Interestingly, the Latin word for Left was sinistral and this is where most of the negative connotations of left-handedness derived (sinister meaning bad or evil).

The world has created a fantastic list of names for left-handers, some positive but others not so positive.  The languages have developed over thousands of years and are strongly affected by the cultures over those times.  Many are derived from the observation of the left-hander doing various activities.

Below is a list of some we have collected and heard.  Contact us if you know of any others (or if we have made an error).

Country / Language

Lefty Term

Other Meanings

Australia (coll.)

Mollydooker, Cacky-hander

 

Germany

Linkshänder

Awkward

Irish

Láimh chlé, Ciotach

 

The Netherlands

Linkshandig

 

Ancient Greek

Aristerá

The best (-> Aristocrat)

Japanese

Hidari

Sun, on

French

Gauche

Awkward, clumsy

Norway

Venstrehendt

 

Italian

Mancino, Sinistro

Crooked

Polish

Mankut

 

Russian

Levsha

 

Maltese

Xellugija

 

Tagalog (Philippines)

Pangkaliwete

 

Hindi

Baayaan haath

 

Arabic

Yasariin

 

Turkish

Solak, Sol aski, Sol yumruk

 

Denmark

Venstre

 

Welsh

Llaw chwith

 

Romanian

Mânerul stâng

 

Croatian

Lijeva ruka

 

Spanish

Los zurdo

 

Gaelic

Làmh chlì

 

Afrikaans

Linkerhand

 

Chinese

Zuŏpiēzi

 

Finland

Vasen käsi

 

Indonesia

Seorang kidal

 

Hungarian

Balkezes ember

 

Malay

Penolng kiri

 

Punjabi

Khabē hathara