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Picture of shufitz
posted
Asa notes elsewhere:
  • Latin for "left" is "alia," thus alien.
  • Italian is "sinestro," thus sinister.
  • French is "gauche," and we English speakers use that as clumsy or tactless.
Any further examples of dextrality or sinistrality? For instance, since Asa concluded, "Lefties get a bum rap!", I'll commence with:

May I give you a left-handed compliment, Asa? {PS: I'm a righty.}
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Righty politically or manually? 'Tis different to get a bum rap rather than a rap on the bum! big grin
Or, we could talk about wrapping your bum, but we won't.

There's a word that I've forgotten for a "left-handed compliment." Anybody remember it?

BTW, when I said that "alia" meant left hand in Latin, I slightly misspoke. It literally means "other," as the right hand and the other hand, or so my old Latin text avers.
 
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lefties certainly do get a bum rap! Until very recently, left-handed people when young were forced to use the right when writing and carrying out other tasks. That gave them the undeserved reputation for being clumsy. Lefties have to use simple tools like scissors awkwardly. On a visit to London, my left-handed niece thought she was in heaven when we visited a shop selling stuff designed specifically for lefties.
 
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In french, "sinistre" is the same adjective than the english "sinister", and also a name for "disaster and catastrophe" and after such "sinistre", a name too for "damages and claims". oOOps !

In french too, "gauche" is the adjective for "clumsy" and also an adjective for "warped or crooked".

In french again, a synonymous for "gauche" is "maladroit", literaly "bad-on-the-right" ...

----
wink Don't want to be peremptory ASA, I apologize, but it seems that in italian "left" is "sinistra, sinistro" with "i" because of latin "sinister".

Latin "et alii, et alia, inter alia" (abbreviation "et al.") means "and others". "Alia" is probably the etymology of "alien" (Because "the others" are often from "elsewhere" ?) http://www.consultsos.com/pandora/alienate.htm

Bookmark this extraordinary http://www.consultsos.com/pandora/pandhmpg.htm if you are "LINGUAPHILE" ...
... I am but , I prefer "word lover", do you ?

safi
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Don't want to be peremptory ASA, I apologize, but it seems that in italian "left" is
"sinistra, sinistro" with "i" because of latin "sinister".
________________________________

Yes, safi, you are right about the Italian left. smile That's what happens when I try to work from memory.

As arnie mentioned, those of us who were naturally lefties often got forced to become righties, and we bacame wrongies in the process, or, as safi said, maladroit. When I should turn left but instead turn right, is that a mal-a-droit razz
 
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Again I'm working from faulty memory, but I think the Spanish for left is izquerdo. Is that from Arabic?
 
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Spanish left is "izquierda" ... I have to ask Eve (of spanish origins) to look for "left slights",
as soon as possible ...

frown in arabic
right : "yamin" ; left : "yassar" (latin transliteration) but no apparent links with gauche, clumsy, ... "left slights". Needing to search more attentively.

frown in maltese
right : "lemin" ; left : "xellug" ; but no evident "left slights" ... Needing to search more attentively.

eek in Urdu it is arabic-like with unexpected meaning for "yasaar" particularly.
yamin: A & n.m. right hand; oath
yasaar: A & n.m. left/left hand;
affluence; ?!
opulence; ?!

smile but in persian (parsi, farsi, an indo-european language, not arabic but written in arabic)
right : "rast" ; left : "tchap"
"tchap" is here ... clumsy :
adj. & name. Left (hand or side);
adj. discordant, inharmonious; unlucky, sinister;


... So long, I have to google something tomorrow ! smile

safi
 
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arnie
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posted Sun Aug 11th, 2002 1:48

lefties certainly do get a bum rap! Until very recently, left-handed people when young were
forced to use the right when writing and carrying out other tasks. That gave them the
undeserved reputation for being clumsy. Lefties have to use simple tools like scissors
awkwardly. On a visit to London, my left-handed niece thought she was in heaven when we
visited a shop selling stuff designed specifically for lefties.



this is why london is like a dream world. i dream nearly every night that i'm in london, drifting thru the streets, going thru shops that sell everything i could ever want. pastries that are so complex and perfect, chocolate, jewelry that i can't find anywhere else. i even have a dream shop that i try to find, i found it once, that is very small and i have to open drawers to find the jewelry that is just perfect for me. the shop is pretty bare, the breeze blows in thru the windows very cool, not much on display at all. but exactly what i want.

of course dream london is nothing like real london. except, sometimes it is. sometimes it seems like the special shop might not be there if you go back. when it's dark and rainy and no one is in the street. maybe it never happened. except, you have the little parcel in your hand!

i haven't seen the lefty shop. but i will. when i was in first grade, the teacher tried to make me write right handed. but she didn't stop there, she hit me across the knuckles with big thick coca cola pencils. when my knuckles ache i think about it unconsciously. she also locked me in the classroom during lunch everyday.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Wildflowerchild wrote," ...haven't seen the lefty shop. but i will. when i was in first grade, the teacher tried to make me write right handed. but she didn't stop there, she hit me across the knuckles with big thick coca cola pencils. when my knuckles ache i think about it unconsciously."
__________________________________

The cruel ignorance of your teacher reminds me of my first day in first grade in York, South Carolina. The teacher had a game, a name learning ball game, in which she said, "I'm Mrs Anderson, who are you?" She would then throw the ball into the class, and the one catching it would say his or her name. As often as it was thrown, I never caught it, never said my name, never obtained an identity. One other child, a girl who sat under the United States flag, the one to which we would later have to proclaim one nation indivisible, didn't catch the ball either. She sat alone, terrified, and began to pee. Her urine spilled out and surrounded her, making her an island, entire of itself, divided from the rest, as my tears at seeing her made me an island too. That one event is my only memory of first grade
 
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Back in italian :

Left : adjective "sinistro", name "sinistra", have some figuratives meanings synonymous of "goffo" for "clumsy" or "awkward" and "impacciato" (do you hear Imm'paTCHIAAAa'To ?) for "to be entangled" or something like "oafish" (very close, phonologicaly, to french and english "impatient", no ?)

... and in spanish, Eve confirms with her memory, without dictionary that

1 - Left : name "izquierdo", adj. "izquierda"
2 - Here is the left slight ... "zurdo" adj. and name for "left-handed" have figurative meaning of "clumsy" or pejorative meaning of "one-handed".
3 - "izquierdo" is also the name given to a "lame horse"


roll eyes So, is it a correlation or an illusion ? But yet strange hypothesis to be analyzed.

In languages where writing is from left to right, the normality is to be right-handed and the the "left" have figurative meaning of "clumsiness".

In those where writing is from right to left, the normality is to clean oneself with the left hand and to interact with the right hand, both are specialized but indispensable.

mad I observe, afflicted, in both cases, where reign a norm reign oppressors. Against "left-handed" or "impure", they are able, cachinnating, ... to "mutilate". (ASA, I have not catched the ball either.).

wink I observe, amused but pragmatic, an interesting opposition, where left-hand is the more impure, is it consequently the more clever ... I suppose ... otherwise ?! ... although !? ...


But what about egyptians ? They wrote in the four directions ...
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/egyptian.htm
... a mystery to be elucidated, isn't it Kalleh ?

safi
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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"they are able, cachinnating, ... to "mutilate"," wrote safi
_______________________________

Is it possible that "cachinnate" has its roots in the Greek root "caco..." that we have discussed, as in cacophany? It can be considered cacophonous laughter. I found only the Latin etymology in my dictionaries.
 
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"Cachinnate" comes from the Latin word with the same meaning, cachinare. It is of imitative origin, copying the sound of a laugh. I can't see that there could be any connection with "caco".
 
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Asa Lovejoy
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posted Sun Aug 11th, 2002 22:28

Wildflowerchild wrote," ...haven't seen the lefty shop. but i will. when i was in first grade, the
teacher tried to make me write right handed. but she didn't stop there, she hit me across the
knuckles with big thick coca cola pencils. when my knuckles ache i think about it unconsciously."
__________________________________

The cruel ignorance of your teacher reminds me of my first day in first grade in York, South
Carolina. The teacher had a game, a name learning ball game, in which she said, "I'm Mrs
Anderson, who are you?" She would then throw the ball into the class, and the one catching it
would say his or her name. As often as it was thrown, I never caught it, never said my name,
never obtained an identity. One other child, a girl who sat under the United States flag, the one
to which we would later have to proclaim one nation indivisible, didn't catch the ball either. She
sat alone, terrified, and began to pee. Her urine spilled out and surrounded her, making her an
island, entire of itself, divided from the rest, as my tears at seeing her made me an island too.
That one event is my only memory of first grade


this pretty much sums up my experience of public schooling. some people say "if you weren't an idiot or a genius you got no attention". i agree but i remember brilliant kids whom the teacher kicked to the side because they were getting ahead of the lesson. to me, the inmates ran the asylum, and i'm not talking about the kids. thanks, asa.
 
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