It’s A Left-Handed Thing

Humorous differences, we lefties experience living in the other handed world…(~;

I was surprised that my left handedness was not more dominant in some of these questions. I think it is all those years of having to adapt to a right handed world. See quiz below…



How left-handed are you? You may be more left handed than you think?

We all, of course, we know in which hand we hold a pen, but how far does this bias extend throughout your body? Are you left-eared? Left eyed? Here is a simple test you can apply to yourself.

  1. Imagine the centre of your back is itching. Which hand do you scratch it with?
  2. Interlock your fingers. Which thumb is uppermost?
  3. Imagine you are applauding. Start clapping your hands. Which hand is uppermost?
  4. Wink at an imaginary friend straight in front of you. Which eye does the winking?
  5. Put your hands behind your back, one holding the other. Which hand is doing the holding?
  6. Someone in front of you is shouting but you cannot hear the words. Cup your ear to hear better. Which ear do you cup?
  7. Count to three on your fingers, using the forefinger of the other hand. Which forefinger do you use?
  8. Tilt your head over on to one shoulder. Which shoulder does it touch?
  9. Fixate a small distant object with your eyes and point directly at it with your forefinger. Now close one eye. Now change eyes. Which eye was open when the fingertip remained in line with the small object? (When the other eye, the non-dominant one, is open and the dominant eye is closed, the finger will appear to move to one side of the object.)
  10. Fold your arms. Which forearm is uppermost?

If you have always considered yourself to be right or left-handed you will probably now have discovered that your body is less than total in its devotion to its favoured side. If you are right-handed the chances are that you were not able to be ‘right’ 10 times.



Over the centuries, customs, religions and habits have made sure that the left hand is almost universally damned and unwelcome. Only very recently has the use of the left hand been accepted as more ‘normal’. We have picked a selection of items that make the point.

  • In popular folklore in many cultures around the world, the Devil, or the local equivalent, is always left-handed (look at paintings and illustrations and extracts from religious texts). The custom of throwing spilled salt over the left shoulder originates here as well, it is to placate the devil to your left and avoid bad luck.
  • Throughout most of Christianity, good stuff happens on the right and bad on the left! One count reveals over 100 favourable references to the right hand. Virtually all references to the left hand are unfavourable. In the parable of the sheep and the goats, the sheep on the right side inherit the kingdom of heaven, but the goats on the left are cursed and sent into everlasting fire and punishment.
  • The ancient Greeks regarded the left side as inauspicious and unlucky and the Romans later took up the same view. The Greek word for left, ‘skaios’ came to mean ‘ill-omened’ and ‘awkward’ as well.
  • An account of certain African tribes in 1906 describes what they do to left-handed children. They poured boiling water into a hole in the ground then thrust the offending hand in and wedged it down with earth. This tended to damage the hand and discourage the child form using it.
  • Until fairly recently (and still, sometimes, today) children using their left hand to write with were strongly dissuaded, by having the left arm tied behind their back, by having the left knuckles hit with a ruler or other suitable punishments. We are probably the first generation that does not include many thousands of natural left-handers who write with their right hand!

There are a lot more stories like these and a more in-depth review of the history of left-handedness in The Left-Handed Book by Simon Langford, available from the Anything Left-Handed on-line shop at UK Pounds 3.95.


The thing that most left-handers want is a proper pair of scissors, but did you know why they are left-handed? Apart from having the grips moulded or ground for comfort in the left hand, they have the blades fully reversed so that the left blade is always on top.

This means that you can see your cutting line and the natural squeezing motion of your hand pushes the blades together rather than apart.

Have you ever seen child trying to peer over the top of their scissors and bending the paper between the blades so it tears; that is the effect of back-to-front right-handed scissors and one of the reasons left-handers get a reputation as being awkward, but neither you nor they have to put up with it!


COMPUTER USE-Not all left-handers need to use a mouse in their left hand, but they do need the opportunity to compare which hand is better at controlling it. Otherwise, they will simply be slow and laboured in using it right-handed, or develop the lifelong bad habit of crossing their left hand over the body to reach the mouse, leading to bad posture and much backache in years to come!

If you do prefer to use your left-hand, your standard mouse buttons can be configured to this in MS Windows – Start, Settings, Control Panel, Mouse, “Buttons”. Also choose the “Orientation” tab to set your mouse for the most comfort. An ergonomic mouse may be too right-handed in design to be comfortable in the left, although Anything Left-Handed do stock a left handed cordless mouse.

If you share a computer with a right-hander and want to keep changing over the mouse buttons, there is a simple shareware utility called SwapMouseButtons which allows you to set the F12 key as a hotkey to change from right to left and back with a single keystroke. It also automatically changes the mouse pointer and hand curser to left-handed versions when you swap buttons. This program is now completely free.
Another common discomfort associated with computers is the numberpad, which is traditionally placed to the right of the main keyboard, making it uncomfortable for left-handers to use and often causing RSI (repetitive strain injury). Left handed keyboards are now available with the number pad on the left side of the qwerty keyboard.

From “Anything Left Handed” Website

See my other relevant posts…

“We Aren’t Handicapped, We Just Need Our Own Scissors”



“Anything Left-handed Catalog”-all kinds of left-handed items geared to some of the wants and needs of lefties.

8 thoughts on “It’s A Left-Handed Thing

  1. Pingback: “It’s A Left Handed Thing” « Left Handed-Right Brained Art of Sherry Key

  2. I just want a tape measure that I do not have to read upside down.
    Be right handed or right minded.

    Kris C.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s