What’s a Southpaw?
For Left Hander’s Day on August 13, did you know that that left handers are also called Southpaws? The origins of the word are slightly unclear and several theories still exist, but after doing some fact checking, the most popular explanation of the word Southpaw, came around during the late 19th century, when a Chicago sports writer referenced a left handed pitcher during a game. Since home plate faced west, a left handed pitcher would throw the ball using his left, or southern, side of his body. The “paw” he referenced was the pitcher’s left hand.
What’s Up with These Scissors?
Some of us might remember being in elementary school when your teacher would hand out scissors for a project. There were usually a few scissors left over that had those green, rubber handles. At that young age, we didn’t understand why those scissors looked strange and why they did not feel right in our hands (why wouldn’t they cut?). Only as we got older did it begin to make sense that those green scissors were meant for left handed kids!
You can’t choose whether you are right or left handed, so for all the lefties living in a right handed world, Left Hander’s Day on Thursday, August 13 is for you. No, you won’t be able to take a day off; however, with only 10% of the general population left handed, it’s a day to acknowledge all the left handers out there.
Other Fun Facts about Left Handers
- Imagine what a nightmare this desk poses for left handed students.
- Eight U.S. presidents have been left handed. Can you name them? (answers below*)
- Most lefties prefer eating on the left side of a table, so their elbow won’t jab the person next to them (most likely, their dinner guests are appreciative of this gesture).
- Lefties are generally known to despise spiral notebooks.
- For lefties, it can be confusing to decide which water glass is theirs at the dinner table. Should they reach for the glass on the left or right of their plate?
- For all right handed ladies, next time you’re shopping for eyeshadow, take a look at the eyeshadow. Notice how the eyeshadow is slanted for right handed people.
- Have you ever found a reclining chair with a footrest that you could raise with your left hand?
- Did you know that some animals can be left handed?
- If you enjoy gardening, did you know that some places carry left handed pruners?
- Holy Moly! Did you know that they make left handed keyboards?
If you’d like to try being a leftie in a right handed world, spend five minutes doing any of the above. Try writing in a spiral notebook, applying makeup with your left hand or having dinner sitting on the right side of your dinner guest.
Left Hander’s Day is on August 13. Take a moment to reflect on what your left handed family and friends go through on a daily basis. Go ahead and show them some love and appreciation for how well they cope with life in a right handed world. Honestly, we’re not too surprised that lefties have their own Left Hander’s Day.
*Answers: James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Regan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama