Becoming Sinister


“Sinister” is Latin for “left,” as in left-handed. Someone who is right-handed would be referred to as “dexterous” or “deft.” Obviously being different acquired the stigma of being evil or threatening. It’s not much better in French, where a leftie would be called “gauche,” which also means awkward or lacking in social graces. The same negative bias exists in a dozen or so other languages.

After surgery on my right shoulder tomorrow I will be going gauche for the next several weeks; joining the 10% or so of the population that was born that way. And despite the connotations, I’ll be in good company.

Four of our last five presidents have been left-handed (2 Republicans and 2 Democrats, so “handedness” isn’t an indicator of political leaning):

  • Ronald Reagan
  • George H. W. Bush
  • Bill Clinton
  • Barack Obama

Other sinister world leaders included:

  • Alexander the Great
  • Julius Caesar
  • Charlemagne
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Queen Victoria
  • Benjamin Franklin

(Find out if your favorite author, athlete or actor is left-handed at Famous Left-Handers.)

And when it comes to money,

In 2006, researchers at Lafayette College and Johns Hopkins University in a study found that right-handed men are 15 percent poorer than left-handed men for those who attended college, and 26 percent poorer if they graduated. The wage difference remains unexplained, and appears to apply to women.

Let’s hope my income goes up over the next few months.

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4 thoughts on “Becoming Sinister

  1. Ha ha.
    I’m hoping the same thing. I forgot you were a lefty Mike. I always knew there was somthing I liked about you. 🙂

    Also, since only 10% of us are left handed and the left side is controlled predominately by the right side of the brain, that means only 10% of us are in our right mind.

    He he since they’ve been calling us sinister for milennia they deserve that one. 🙂

    God bless you Mike.
    Brad

      1. I’m also only in my right mind about 10% of the time, Brad.

        Thanks for all your comments on various posts. Best of luck on your book project. It’s a long-term process. Regardless of whether you make any money it will help clarify your thinking.

  2. Mike, have been and will be praying for you and the surgery. We are planning to be in Colorado June 2-7. If at all possible hope we can meet and have a face to face encounter.

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