The Left Handed Life: Surprising Facts, Myths & Quotes

How do people become lefties? What percentage of the population is left-handed? When is Left-Handers Day? Read on to learn more.

Check out this collection of left-handed quotes, fun facts, and people who are lefties.

Left-handers unite! Take pride in knowing that you are among a select group of left-handed people that includes famous artists, scientists, musicians, presidents, authors and sports figures—a group that consists of only 10% or less of the population.

Let’s start with the quotations.

Best left-handed quotes

If the left half of the brain controls the right half of the body then only left-handed people are in the right mind. – W.C. Fields

Nothing is so ignorant as a man’s left hand, except a lady’s watch.
Mark Twain

Well, it’s always been my nature to take chances My right hand drawing back while my left-hand advances. – Bob Dylan

In mythology and palmistry, the left hand is called the dreamer because the ring finger on the left-hand leads directly to the heart. I find it a very poetic idea. And that’s why I only wear nail polish on my left ring finger. – Gloria Vanderbilt

Lefties – in great demand but limited supply!
Unknown

God made everyone right-handed, the truly gifted overcome it.
Unknown

If the left side of your brain controls the right side of your body, and the right side of your brain controls the left side of your body, then left-handed people must be the only ones in their right minds.
Unknown

I’m used to being in the minority. I’m a left-handed gay Jew. I’ve never felt, automatically, a member of any majority. Barney Frank

 

The Left Handed Life: Surprising Facts, Myths & Quotes

Good left-handed quotes

I was a left-handed dentist who made people cry.
Casey Stengel

Life without left-handed people wouldn’t be right.
C.R. Manske

Whatever the right-hand findeth to do, the left-hand carries a watch on its wrist to show how long it takes to do it. Ralph Washington Sockman

I always pet a dog with my left hand because if he bit me I’d still have my right hand to paint with.
Juan Gris

Reason is our soul’s left hand, Faith her right, By these we reach divinity.
John Donne

We are made out of stardust. The iron in the hemoglobin molecules in the blood in your right hand came from a star that blew up 8 billion years ago. The iron in your left hand came from another star. We are the laws of chemistry and physics as they have played out here on Earth and we are now learning that planets are as common as stars. Most stars, as it turns out now, will have planets.
Jill Tarter

Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: you are all stardust. – Lawrence M. Krauss

The only way for a relationship to survive, I think, is to have no sex at all. After all, you marry for friendship, for companionship – and passion after a while… pfffft. I mean, does it excite you when your left-hand touches your right?
Diane von Furstenberg

Left-Handers Day Quotes — August 13 every year is the day!

The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise, you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.
Margaret Atwood

There’s a Mr. Hyde for every happy Jekyll face, a dark face on the other side of the mirror. The brain behind that face never heard of razors, prayers, or the logic of the universe. You turn the mirror sideways and see your face reflected with a sinister left-hand twist, half-mad and half sane.
Stephen King

Short left-handed quotes

When nothing goes right… go left.
Unknown

Is he alone who has courage on his right hand and faith on his left hand?
Charles Lindbergh

The light is the left hand of darkness.
Ursula K. Le Guin

I may be left-handed, but I am always right.
Unknown

A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, but a fool’s heart at his left.
Ecclesiastes 10:2

Everybody is born left-handed. You become right-handed after your first sin.
Unknown

I’m left-handed: I can think and feel at the same time. My feminine side is very highly developed.
Laurence Fishburne

Let not the right side of your brain know what the left side doeth.
George Bernard Shaw

All the decisive blows are struck left-handed.
Walter Benjamin

Funny left-handed quotes

After all, crime is only a left-handed form of human endeavor.
John Huston

To be hated cordially is only a left-handed compliment.
Herman Melville

Left-handers don’t just write differently, we also think differently.
Unknown

My left hand is my thinking hand (image), my right hand my doing hand (sequence).
Barbara Hepworth

It wasn’t for nothing that the raven was just now croaking on my left hand.
Plautus

Inspirational left-handed quotes and sayings

I feel that I am a scholar who only with the left-hand writes novels.
Umberto Eco

Science and democracy are the right and left hands of what I’ll refer to as the move from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom.
Karl Marx

Accustom yourself to master and overcome things of difficulty; for if you observe, the left hand for want of practice is insignificant, and not adapted to general business; yet it holds the bridle better than the right, from constant use. Pliny the Elder

On the left-hand path, we take the direct route, which is much more strenuous, much more dangerous, and much more likely to cause you to fall.
Zeena Schreck

This manner of writing wherein knowing myself inferior to myself? I have the use, as I may account it, but of my left hand. – John Milton

Left-handers are wired into the artistic half of the brain, which makes them imaginative, creative, surprising, ambiguous, exasperating, stubborn, emotional, witty, obsessive, infuriating, delightful, original, but never, never, dull.
James T deKay

Smart left-handed quotes

As for conforming outwardly, and living your own life inwardly, I do not think much of that. Let not your right hand know what your left-hand does in that line of business. It will prove a failure… It is a greater strain than any soul can long endure. When you get God to pulling one way, and the devil the other, each having his feet well braced,–to say nothing of the conscience sawing transversely,–almost any timber will give way.
Henry David Thoreau

On the left-hand side of the field equation, we may add the fundamental tensor guv, multiplied by a universal constant, -λ, at present unknown, without destroying the general covariance.
Albert Einstein

Prosperity’s right hand is an industry and her left hand is frugality.
Samuel Johnson

10 Things You Need to Know About Being Left-Handed

Many myths and lore exist in popular culture about the left hand. Here are ten common questions about being left-handed — with answers that may surprise you.

Left-handers live in a world built for righties. Nothing seems to be made or built with the lefty in mind. Why have they been overlooked? How does a person become left-handed? Who are some of the most famous left-handed people? Here are answers to some of the most common questions about left-handedness.

What causes a person to be left-handed?

Hand preference can be influenced by a person’s genes, which includes a genetic bias towards right-handedness. Scientists have found left-handedness has more of a chance to take over when the genetic right-hand bias is weak.

Studies have shown that pregnant women over 40 years old are more likely to have a left-handed baby. Left-handedness is also twice as common in twins.

Is left-handedness rare?

Yes, only 10% or less of the population is left-handed. The preponderance of right-handedness (90%) aligns with other right-side, biologically-dominant traits, including hearing (60% right-eared), vision (70% right-eyed) and foot dominance (80% right-footed).

What do you call a left-handed person?

Throughout history, the words “left” and “left-handed” have held negative connotations. The Latin word “sinistra” literally means “left” but it is also synonymous with “evil” or “unlucky.” (Interestingly, the Latin word for “right” has a positive connotation: “dexter,” as in “dextrous.”)

The English word “left” derives from the Anglo-Saxon word “lyft,” meaning “broken” or “weak.” Similarly, we may call something “gauche” if it is lacking in grace or socially awkward. The word originates from the French language meaning “left.”

Did You Know?

August 13 is International Lefthanders Day, an annual celebration of the uniqueness of being left-handed in a right-handed world.

What are some common phrases and sayings about left-handers? Left-handed quotes

Some colloquial phrases and sayings have origins that date back to biblical times. In the case of left-handed sayings, the evidence shows that lefties have not always been looked upon favorably. Here are nine popular phrases that cast a not-so-positive shadow on lefties:

Two left feet

Out of left field

Leftovers

Left in the lurch

A left-handed compliment

At the right hand of God

The unclean hand

The left-hand path (black magic)

Righty tighty, lefty loosey


Do left-handers have a higher IQ?

A case can be made for higher intelligence among left-handers. For example, lefties make up a larger-than-average portion of certain highly-intelligent groups: 20% of Mensa members and almost 18% of American presidents.

Some positive traits commonly attributed to left-handers are high IQ, creativity, multitasking ability, problem-solving, memory retention, and above-average verbal skills.

The concept that lefties are predominantly right-brained is a myth. Most left-handed individuals are in-fact left-brained, in line with the general population. However, their brains may show higher aptitude in typical right-brained abilities like math and architecture.

Are left-handers less healthy?

Left-handers have been looked down upon historically and even forced to become right-handed by parents and teachers. A popular convention held that left-handed people are evil, the sign of the devil. Lefties have been labeled as neurotic; their behavior rebellious and criminal, and some accused of homosexuality. Just more left-handed myths.

There is some evidence that suggests lefties are more susceptible to allergies, asthma, and insomnia. A 2013 Yale University study of mental health patients showed a larger-than-average number of left-handers. 40% of patients with schizoaffective disorders reported left-hand dominance. Similar studies suggest a link between left-handedness and dyslexia, ADHD and certain mood disorders.

Are left-handers better at sports?

Yes, it seems lefties have an edge when it comes to individual-player sports like tennis and boxing. They are also noted to excel in swimming and baseball, especially as a pitcher.

The Simpsons “Lefties”

Left-handed creator of “The Simpsons” Mat Groening made two of his lead characters left handed: Bart Simpson and his goofy next-door-neighbor Ned Flanders. In the Season 3 episode “When Flanders Failed,” Ned opens a lefty-themed store—the “Leftorium”—in the local mall. The business fails, for there just aren’t enough left handed customers in Springfield.

Which Presidents were left-handed?

Presidents that are left handed

Eight of the United States’ 45 presidents were left-handed. That’s almost 18% or double the number of lefties found in the general population.

Interestingly, there were no left-handed American presidents until James Garfield in 1881. After Garfield, seven lefties would become president, including three in a row beginning with Ronald Reagan in 1981.

  • James Garfield, 20th
  • Herbert Hoover, 31st
  • Harry Truman, 33rd
  • Gerald Ford, 38th
  • Ronald Reagan, 40th
  • George H.W. Bush, 41st
  • Bill Clinton, 42nd
  • Barack Obama, 44th

Who are the most famous lefties?

You may be surprised to learn that all these famous people are left-handed. Here are some of the most recognizable lefties, arranged by categories:

  1. Political Leaders
  2. Business Leaders
  3. Musicians
  4. Entertainers & Comedians
  5. Actors
  6. Sports Figures
  7. Artists, Scientists & Philosophers
  8. Criminals

1. Famous Left-Handed Political Leaders

  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Julius Caesar
  • Winston Churchill
  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Prince William
  • Prince Charles
  • Steve Forbes
  • Alexander the Great
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • John McCain
  • Anthony Kennedy

2. Famous Left-Handed Business Leaders

Steve Jobs

Bill Gates

Mark Zuckerberg

David Rockefeller

Henry Ford

3. Famous Left-Handed Musicians

  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Robert Plant
  • Paul Simon
  • Paul McCartney
  • Kurt Cobain
  • Isaac Hayes
  • Lady Gaga
  • George Michael
  • The Everly Brothers, Dick & Don
  • Eminem
  • Cole Porter
  • Tiny Tim
  • Justin Bieber

4. Famous Left-Handed Entertainers & Comedians

David Letterman

Jerry Seinfeld

Tina Fey

Jay Leno

Marcel Marceau

Jon Stewart

Oprah Winfrey

Gordon Ramsey

Don Rickles

Will Ferrell

Whoopie Goldberg

Dan Aykroyd

George Burns

Richard Pryor

Charlie Chaplin

Jim Henson

Harpo Marx

Carol Burnett

W.C. Fields

Howie Mandel

5. Famous Left-Handed Actors

Robert DeNiro

Julia Roberts

Peter Lawford

Christian Slater

Dick Van Dyke

Richard Dreyfuss

Peter Fonda

Greta Garbo

Sarah Jessica Parker

Cloris Leachman

Shirley MacLaine

Angelina Jolie

Jennifer Lawrence

Bruce Willis

Robert Redford

Keith Carradine

Tom Cruise

Mickey Rourke

Telly Savalas

Matthew Broderick

Lisa Kudrow

Michael Landon

Caitlyn Jenner

Kristy McNichol

Nicole Kidman

Jason Alexander

Betty Grable

Cary Grant

Rock Hudson

Judy Garland

Keanu Reeves

Mary-Kate Olsen

Steve McQueen

Marilyn Monroe

Ryan O’Neal

6. Famous Left-Handed Sports Figures

Babe Ruth

Sandy Koufax

LeBron James

Bill Russell

Pelé

Larry Bird

Gayle Sayers

Barry Bonds

Ty Cobb

Ken Griffey, Jr.

Wayne Gretzky

Phil Mickelson

Lou Gehrig

Phil Esposito

Tony Gwynn

Marina Navratilova

Oscar de la Hoya

Jimmy Connors

Rafael Nadal

Steve Carlton

John McEnroe

Stan Musial

Whitey Ford

7. Famous Left-Handed Artists, Scientists & Philosophers

Albert Einstein

Leonardo da Vinci

Aristotle

Marie Curie

Albrecht Dürer

Friedrich Nietzche

Michelangelo

Charles Darwin

M.C. Escher

Mahatma Gandhi

Raphael

Isaac Newton

Joan of Arc

Buzz Aldrin

Paul Klee

Helen Keller

8. Infamous Left-Handed Criminals

Osama Bin Laden

John Dillinger

The Boston Strangler

Billy the Kid

Jack the Ripper

John Wesley Hardin

What words are typed with only the left hand?

Left handed words to type

Try this: these words can be typed with only the left hand (from the left-hand position on a QWERTY keyboard):

abracadabra

water

cascade

affect

treat

greatest

badge

sweater

crave

grease

weedeater

faster

reverberate

geez

dresses

retract

sex

decades

crater

grass

— Greg Johnson

Greg is an art director, writer, and co-founder of Listcaboodle.

Etcetera – thanks for reading about left-handed quotes!

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