Many people may not realize this in 2013, but for thousands of years being left-handed was associated with evil. In fact, if you look at artistic renderings of the devil throughout the ages he is almost always depicted as left-handed. As a lefty myself, I’ve never been fond of this lefty is the devil talk, and I’m especially not fond of it now that it’s clear Annie is a lefty, too.
Annie and I aren’t the only lefties in our family. My uncle was left-handed as a boy, but my grandmother (who grew up in Portugal and still believed in superstition) tied his left hand behind his back so he’d be forced to use his right. Today he uses his right hand to write and throw but can use his left hand a bit as well.
Personally, I experienced a lot of the typical lefty frustrations growing up. I hated how it was almost impossible to write in a three-ring binder, I hated how my hand smudged my writing as it crossed the page, and I hated having to take three-hour tests in college sitting at a stupid right-handed desk! Right handed scissors stunk too. Doing something as simple as cutting along a dotted line could make me break out in sweat as if I were performing brain surgery.
There were cool things too, though, about being a lefty. One is that lefties generally have the unique ability to curve things. I played baseball in high school and was able to throw a curveball very easily, and I’m also able to throw a bowling ball with the kind of hook you see the professionals use on the Pro Bowling Tour (but not with the same results, sadly). Another cool thing about lefties is that we tend to be pretty creative. Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, for example, are both lefties!
I always wondered if one of my children would be left-handed since I am, but logic told me that was unlikely considering lefties only make up 10% of the population. Annie, though, started to use her left hand a lot from a very young age. Of course, whenever I was ready to declare her a full-fledged lefty she’d suddenly use her right hand to throw a ball or use her fork. These days, though, she rarely uses her right hand and has left no doubt that she’s a lefty. This makes sense because she definitely fits the description of a lefty. She’s very creative, for example, and all day long plays pretend, improvises songs, tells jokes, and draws pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.
I don’t look forward to Annie having to deal with the bad stuff about being left handed, but I hope she’ll benefit from the good. Either way, it’s nice to have another thing in common with my best girl.
I’m the only lefty in my house. My parents think I got it from my Aunt (who is a lefty) who babysat me as a child and would always train me to do everything me with my left hand.
I eat, and write left handed. I play(ed) all sports right handed.
My biggest annoyance was the table being set for righties. It wasn’t my chore to set the table, so it was always set for righties! About once a week, my Mom would let me set the table, and I would set it for all 5 of us for lefties and they would all get angry that the silverware was on the opposite side.
I’m glad I popped over and read your post. In the social and scientific experiment which is my life I have also noted those exact same qualities us left handers share. Wicked curve balls, for sure.
I remember being about 11 (I’m 36) and a teacher making a comment about the historical beliefs regarding left handers and being totally embarassed. However, as I got older I realized the most creative and empathetic people in my life were lefties and totally embraced it.
My dad was a lefty, my 2 daughters are right handed.
I am always surprised when I talk to people and they mention not really knowing any lefties. We always had a lefty side of the table at Thanksgiving, because our family is crawling with them! My son is a lefty, and I am so glad for it! Lefties are awesome.
Kandi ann says:
My Mom and I are both left handed and my cousin and his daughter were left handed. I was about 3 or 4?and I remember my cousin. Smacking the babies hand so she would use her right hand. She did grow up using her right hand but I still consider her a lefty.
So sad to read this – smacking a baby’s hand for using what feels natural to him/her? I know it was common to do things like that back then (like tying their left hand behind their back to force the use of the right) but still. As a mother it had to feel “wrong” to do this. I’m glad lefties are more accepted today!
My 10 year old daughter is left-handed and we think it’s great! Just one more thing that makes her even more special! You probably already know about it but we have had good luck finding her school supplies from Lefty’s. Cutest pink left- handed ruler ever!
This store is awesome! I am about to spend one million dollars in it. Thanks for the tip!
Hej there – over here in germany they have tons of school stuff for lefties these days like scissors, pens and stuff. Even like for girls and boys – different colors and stuff. I guess they have those in the states, too? Otherwise get in touch w/ me
I started out as a lefty according to my mom. She forced me to always use my right when i was very little cause she knew being a lefty was hard. My uncle was a lefty. I never thought about it being a genetic thing. No one else in the family (that I know of) is a
Lefty. Makes me wonder if my daughter will be I doubt it but you never know.
Im a leftie. I had leftie scissors but cant use them so cut with my right hand. I also eat right handed.
I was very lucky that I was taught to write by a left handed teacher – she placed me opposite a rightie so I would copy the correct way of writing as so many lefties turn their hands almost over themselves to write from the right. Ive also found that as I was taught to write with my hand below my writing the ink rarely gets smudged!
My husband, 5 year old son and I are all left handed. Love to the lefties!
Lefties have rights too!
I’m a right – handed person and have never desired to be left – handed but only because I saw how hard it was for people in my life who are right – handed. The scissors, writing, desks, computer mouse, etc.
Annie is going to have it easier because lefties are getting accommodated a lot more now than back when you were all evil doers.
As a lefty myself (along with my nephew- who is 9) I give you one suggestion. Either teach her to use scissors with her right hand or ALWAYS send her to school with her own left handed scissors. The lefty scissors throughout my schooling were so horrible and old I could never use them. So I taught myself to use my right hand. Now anything sharp (scissors or knives) I use my right hand. Kinda weird but it works for me!
On a side note. My mom said she was always jealous cuz I could be on a computer using a mouse with my right hand and writing notes down with my left!
I never thought of that!!
Diane B. says:
My sister is a lefty and when she got the first computer (Apple IIe how old is that?!) in our family it felt just as awkward using the mouse so I just used it like a lefty since she set up the computer that way. I never changed and when I got to college it was great being able to use the mouse with one hand and write with the other. Only problem was the cord (back before wireless!) was always super short when moved to the left side.
Weird thing was my sister could NEVER cut left handed. As soon as my mom realized she was a lefty she got her scissors and nobody but me could ever use them.
I am a leftie too! When I was younger my mom was great about getting me left hand scissors and I always tried to get the 1 left handed desk in the classroom! I was hoping my 5 year old son would be a leftie, but I don’t think that will be the case. I still have hope for our 10 month old little girl though!
If you look in movies when an actor is writing I feel like 50% of the time they are lefties. It’s so cool and an extraordinary amount of presidents have been left handed too. Lefties are quite special!
I have three kids, and both of my sons are left handed. The closest we get to genetics is a cousin as well as an uncle (who are uncle/niece to one another as well) are lefties, so not that closely related to my kids. It sort of surprises me that not one, but two, of my kids are left-handed. My boys are still young (ages 7 and 5), so we haven’t encountered many issues yet. I will say that my older son seems to have an easier time with art than his older, right handed sister, so it will be fun to see how these differences play out as they get older.
My FIL and brother are lefties. Never heard the evil lefties thing
My husband is a lefty and I’m a righty. We purposely put pencils, spoons, etc. directly in the middle in front of each child so that they could select which hand to use. After a while, it became apparent that our daughter is also a lefty (like her dad) and our son is a righty (like me). So we are a 50/50 family!! male/female, left/right.
My husband and daughter are both left handed. My oldest son and I are right handed. And my youngest son is ambidextrous. Last year in preschool his teachers were shocked when he would switch hands in the middle of writing his name.
We’re two right handed people raising a leftie, looks like. My daughter is still ambidextrous, but favors her left for fine motor skills. The funny part is that the only leftie in our family is my SIL, and that was a necessity, from having her tendons in her right hand damaged during her 2 month stay in a NICU. She may not have been left handed otherwise.
My grandmother also shared some of your grandmother’s superstitions, but I’m not sure if she ever had to correct any of her kids (my dad can’t remember). I know it’s going to be a challenge for our pumpkin, but thus far she’s oblivious to it.
My sister is a leftie, so I grew up watching her frustrations getting by in a right-handed world! Scissors were the toughest part for her. With time, she had no choice but to become pretty ambidextrous . . . so she can eat, throw, use a mouse and lots of other things with her right hand. It’s pretty impressive, actually, considering I’d be useless if trying to use my left for the same activities. Go lefties!
My Dad was a lefty and Mom right handed. My older sister is left handed and I am mostly right but I am ambidextrous. My parents bought me a ball glove for a right hand etc. and I was always really bad at playing ball, golfing and any sport that needed right or left handed equipment. When I had my own kids I realized it was easier for me to use the left hand when throwing a ball, and for other activities as my youngest son was ambidextrous as well and we ended up buying him a left handed guitar, ball glove etc. Funny how it took that long for me to realize it – my parents never clued in to that either.
My siblings and I are all lefties. My parents are both righties. Very rare. I’ve hoped that any of my 4 kids will be lefties but no such luck. I still have hope for the almost 2 year old and am keeping my fingers crossed! When my siblings and I were little my mom always bought us this “lefty
Magazine” it opened the wrong way and had stories about lefties as well as products for lefties in it. I was always excited to get it in the mail. The paper smudging and spiral notebook thing annoyed me. My mom would order special pens and notebooks out of that magazine for us every year!
both of my grandmom’s were lefties. my mom’s mother went to catholic school and the nuns would crack her knuckles with a ruler if she used her left hand so she was ambidextrous. my dad’s mom taught my dad how to tie his shoes. this caused me a ton of problems as a child since i could not and still have not figured out how he ties his shoes. the only one who does understand is my leftie nephew. why you ask because my dad ties his shoes left handed with his right hand. one of these days i am going to video tape him just because if have never seen anyone else tie shoes this way and it will confuse almost everyone
I’ve never heard of left handed shoe tying – off to YouTube!
Mrs G says:
Love this! My husband and I are both righties, but he has lefties in his family, and our daughter is a lefty! The chances of two righties having a leftie is around 2%! Love this trait about her, it adds to her uniqueness! Yay lefties!
Christina Bathan says:
We really beat the odds then LOL Hubby and I both are right handed, we have 4 boys, yep you guessed it, ALL Lefties lol. when my eldest was in kinder, his teacher asked if we wanted her to make him write with his right hand, we said No, if he was ment to be a lefty then he was going to be a lefty. They say left handed people are more creative. While, I crochet and make hair ribbon and such, that my limit, But my kids, yeah they blow me out of the water…. My eldest, is 22, and currently serving in the US Navy, but went to the Music academy here in Los Angeles, and when he graduated, played 10 instruments fluently. ds2 is a computer wiz, he doesnt like books much, but in 5th grade built himself a computer, his dad told him, if you want to build it you figure it out, He did and currently is working for Siemens, ds3 is my artist, he sees a picture he likes and will free hand draw it where it will look as if it were traced or copied. he is also interested in animation with legos, and has made some movies. and my youngest who was my premie, hasma creative mind just doesnt know what to do with it yet, he told me last night he wants to take our camera, and go knock on doors to ask people to take their pictures for money, I have a feeling he will be my hustler (hope not ) he loves to build with Legos, and has a vivid imagination.
Pretty sure that, if my parents had had more kids, they would all have been left-handed (as my sister and I are both lefties, the only ones in any part of either side of the family). I think it has something to do with the combo of certain genetic material (needless to say, not speaking as a scientist)
I’m a leftie, but was taught to do everything right handed because no one else around me was leftie. So basically the only things I do with my left hand is write and use a fork. I bowl and throw with my right hand.
Lisa F. says:
I’m not a lefty, but I’m somewhat ambidextrous. I write right, throw right, bat left, eat with my left hand, open doors with my right hand…it’s amazing I’m not just spinning in circles. :p
I’m a lefty (as is my sister), the only two people in the entire family. Not sure if you know this but, while lefties make up 10% of the population, FEMALE lefties are a mere 10 per cent of that. So only 1% of the population is both female and left handed.
WOW really? That’s awesome! You, your sister, and Annie are EXTRA special!
I have four children and TWO are lefties. We just celebrated “Left Handers Day” August 13th. I print posters declaring the kitchen a “lefty zone” etc.
You must check out the website Everything Lefthanded – they are in Great Britain
Love, love, love their stuff – from REAL Lefthanded scissors, to rulers, can openers, knives, notebooks, pencil sharpeners, – you name it
My kids have benefitted from their supplies!!! Know Annie and you would as well (and maybe even James)
It is both fun and frustrating to be a lefty! Only my grandmother in my family, besides myself, is a lefty. And NO ONE could teach me to tie my shoes. I learned when I was 9 and a left handed little girl moved next door and taught me. I ended up training myself to use scissors with my right hand, and when I play baseball, it has to be with a mitt on my left. I cannot catch with my right hand, but I can sort of throw. I think and approach everything different than anyone in my family. But I wouldn’t change that unique part of me, and often wonder if I will have a left handed child some day! I sure hope so! Yay for Annabel!
When I was learning to write at school I would come home every day and get in trouble from my Mom because my hand was so sticky.
Finally one day as she was scrubbing my right hand and yelling at me, I had the courage to talk back and say, “it’s not my fault, it’s from the tape!”.
Being a lefty herself and having had horrible school experiences (being ridiculed in front of the class by her teachers for being so dumb she couldn’t even cut (a lefty using right handed scissors), we left immediately for the school.
I begged her to turn around but no, we first went in to the Administration building and then to the classroom. She told them all off and I was left alone from then on!
Since no teachers knew how to teach me to write, I ended up turning my paper horizontal (the right side of the page against my chest) and I write left to write but sideways.
I write and eat with my left hand but do almost everything else with my right.
In school I always hated writing on the board since I can’t write anything level. I would always start off something on the left and as I continued, the work would end up curving down toward the bottom of the board!!
It has translated into doing anything level – you should see my curtains!!
Amanda Joy says:
I hoped that one of my kids is lefty, just to carry on the tradition. My great grandpa, grandpa, mom, and me are all first born and all lefty. My oldest can use both, but is truly a righty, and so is my daughter. I just have to hope that the baby pushes through and becomes a lefty:)
(Being an artist, my hand was always covered in paint, pencil, or charcoal at school… scissors and college desks are the worst. Having to dig around the scissor box in elementary school to find the one dull pair that said “lefty” on them, ugh!
Robin Wyatt says:
I am also left handed and have never heard “its was evil” In a world of right handed people whenever I get frustrated I always recited the phrase:
“Right handed people are controlled by the left brain, so left handed people are in their right mind”
However, growing up in a righted handed world, I write, use a fork and bowl left handed (no wicked curve) but bat and throw a baseball right handed. I hated right handed scissors because I could never cut a straight line, but most left handed people learn to adapt in this right handed world. I use to drive my teachers nuts because I always flip my spiral notebook over yes the holes were always on the wrong side but I adapted and now they have left handed spiral notebook. Life is good and we are special being left handed.
I’m left-handed. Did you know that sinister comes from the Latin word “sinistra” (sp) which means evil? And of course the French word for left “gauche” is often used as something that is not quite proper.
Many presidents have also been left-handed, including Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Obama.
Neither of my parents is left-handed, and it looks like neither of my girls will be either. My older daugher, who’s four, is definitely right-handed. My younger daughter who’s 18 months seems to favor her right as well.
Ooops, I meant to say that “sinistra” comes from the Latin word for left. Not evil, although that’s what it means today.
Sarah M. says:
I’m a lefty by nature, but was trained by my kindergarten teacher to write right handed. It wasn’t about ease, but something to keep me busy. I was a bored kinder so she would make me do things using my right hand in an attempt to slow me down. Now I can write with both, but generally prefer right as most of the world is set up for it. My almost 4 year old goes between equally and we finally realized that he is lefty by nature but mimics us with right.
Both hubby and I are right handed. My sister and brother are left handed. I have a niece and nephew left handed. My son is a lefty and my daughter right handed.
In Hawaii they have a store “only for lefties” scissors, notebooks, etc… When my son was little it was so hard to teach him how to tie his shows (since I’m a righty) but he figured it out in a day or so.
The lefty’s I’ve been around are super smart individuals. Yay to the lefty’s!
Half of my husbands family is left handed (my hubby included) and then my dad is also left handed…so I have heard all the stories. My older brother, myself and my younger brother all had the left handed tendencies and my mom would always change it to the right hand (crayon was moved from left to right, etc) because of superstitions I didn’t realize it was only 10% that was left handed cause I have so many lefties around me
Lisa in Elijahland says:
Pretty sure our 15 month old is a lefty. We don’t know of any close relatives or friends who are lefties. I think it’s cool, but do worry (only a tiny bit) about the things you mentioned. I think the good outweighs the bad.
You have to see this site.. its for lefties
very cool stuff. My sister and father in law are lefties, when Xmas or bdays come around I always shop here. Love to the lefties from a rightie
It’s been clear since he was about 4 months old (and starting picking things up) that my son is a lefty. I sometimes wonder if its becasue he would mirror my right-handed behavior as he sat opposite me.
we have an online shop here in UK with stuff for us lefties. It does loads of things for children
they ship abroad.
All the best people are left handed
Haha you and Annie both hold your crayons the same way, you weirdo southpaws.
I am a lefty as well as my mom, brother and sister. So we never saw it as special or evil. I was in school before I realized it was not common for entire families to be lefty.
My son is also a leftie – took him about 5 years to 100% pick a hand. He does most things with his left hand but cuts like nobody’s business with his right hand. He sometimes even colours with both hands at the same time but definitely prefers his left. We just chuckle about it – his aunt and uncle are lefties too and we proudly celebrated international left handers day
I’m a lefty in a family of righties. But I don’t remember it ever being an issue. My mom was originally a lefty, but was forced to change in school, so she refused to do that to me. Also, I was fortunate and never had issues with scissors or writing, though I turn my paper at a 90 degree angle to write.
Being a lefty does bring challenges. I feel you on the college desks and some tools (no circular saw for me). I wish one of my kids was lefty, but alas, it was not to be. However, both are wildly creative.
Unlike many famous lefties, I have no acting talent or athletic talent. And I’m ok with this (maybe it’s because I bat and swing a golf club right-handed).
Annie will do fine. She is a creative kid and can be encouraged to figure out solutions to any issues that arise. In fact, I can imagine her starting a pro-lefty movement in school to get desks and scissors and who knows what.
Jenni Mamph says:
My sister is a lefty as well as both my girls. All three of them are close…and have that special bond that *I* can’t/won’t even try to break. Love it!
During my 1st pregnancy,my husband would rub my belly and say “Be a boy.Be a lefty”(lefties make more money as baseball pitchers) And I have a 9 year old son,Sam, and he is a lefty.:)
Kari Weber says:
I hve a left handed, red head! What do you think the percentage of that is?!
My youngest son is left-handed. We’re not exactly sure how that happened because the only person on either side of our family that is left handed is my uncle on my mom’s side. I am somewhat ambidextrous (mostly self-tought).
I think it is fantastic! When he first started to write, he would try to force himself to use his right hand because he was embarrassed. I told him being a lefty made him special and he has never looked back!
My family is crawling with lefties. I’m left handed (all my siblings, nephews & nieces are right), my dad is left handed, my grandfather was, I have an uncle that’s left handed and a couple cousins on both my maternal and paternal side…and that’s just what I know. I may have more uncles/aunts that are, I just don’t know. I love being left handed except for the grievances that you’ve mentioned. I hope my future children are left handed though.
I’m a lefty and learned very early on how to make things work(school desk, scissors, etc.) even though it did get frusrating and tiresome at times (used to tape my pinky so that it wouldn’t smudge the ink when I wrote and even learned how to curve my fingers so they wouldn’t touch the ink when I wrote). I love being the only lefty in my immediate family. My paternal grandmother was said to be a lefty and I ADORED her! I married a lefty and we have a 6 year old daughter who is…not a lefty! What the heck?! I guess the righties on both sides of our family outnumbering the lefties and gave us a righty child.
Julie Wilmes says:
My maternal grandfather and sister are lefties! My dad and I were lefties but he was raised in a Catholic school in the 60s and they made him switch to being right handed (and his handwriting has suffered for it.) I write with my right but do everything else with my left and my mom says I should have been a lefty (she thinks my teachers encouraged the right-handedness – she caught the same teacher forcing my younger sister to use her right hand and stopped it, which adds to the idea that I was originally a lefty)
It’s really weird being ambidextrous (and I wish that I could switch it back to being fully left-handed) but I’m sure that Annie will have no issues being a lefty!
My husband and I are both Lefties. We just want to be super-convenient for dinner parties.
I had to laugh at your post….especially about smudging your writing!!! UGH!!! I HATED THAT!!! I constantly had blue pen on my hand!! I’m sure Annie will make all of us lefties proud!!! I wonder what James will be????
Regarding shoe tying… I’m a lefty and my son a righty. To teach him to tie his shoes he sat across from me and mirrored my actions. To have a lefty teach a lefty, have the child sit next to you and copy what your hands are doing. I’m the only lefty in my family and both of my kids are rightys. I “gave” my lefty-ness to one each of my sister’s kids. When my lefty nephew was struggling to tie his shoes, my sister said to me, “teach your nephew how to tie, would you”. He had the basics but just needed another lefty to practice with a few times.