Happy Left Handers Day! From scissors and smudged ink to spiral-bound notebooks and impossible-to-use tin openers, the lefties' life struggle is real.
While our increasingly digital world has brought advantages to both the left and right, International Left-Handers Day continues to be observed every year in recognition of our left-handed friends and famous faces.
To mark International Left-Handers Day, which takes place today, we've put together some lovely left-leaning facts for you to enjoy.
So take a moment to pause and appreciate the plight of your cack-handed friends living in a right-handed world, or if you're a left-hander then celebrate today - it's for you.
When is Left-Handers Day 2019?
International Left-Handers Day is observed annually on August 13, in celebration of the uniqueness and differences of our fellow lefties.
The history of Left-Handers Day
Dean R Campbell, founder of the Left-Handers International Inc, first observed the day in 1976, to help raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed.
Annual observances continued after the first recognition by Campbell and the day was later declared an official celebration by the Left-Hander's Day Club on August 13, 1997.
Today, many left-handers take to social media on August 13, to share the challenges and inconveniences they face in a predominantly right-hand world.
The left-handed struggle
While using right-handed scissors, writing in spiral notebooks and playing musical instruments are seen as modern-day struggles, left-handers have also been subject to different treatment in the past.
Left-handedness was once viewed negatively by previous generations, dating back to the Middle Ages, when lefties were thought to be possessed by the Devil.
In later years, some left-handed children were compelled by their parents and school teachers to use their right hand for writing tasks.
Research also shows that left-handed people could be more likely to experience certain conditions too. For example, a study by Yale in 2013 found that 40 per cent of those with schizophrenia are left-handed, while 11 per cent of those diagnosed with mood disorders such as depression are left-handed.
According to a Journal of Economic Perspectives study, left-handed people are more likely to work in manually intensive fields and most notably, earn 10-12 per cent less than those who use their right hand.
Famous left-handed people
So what well known figures are left-handed? From US presidents and Royal Family members to artists and philosophers, a number of the famous faces we all know put pen to paper with their left hand.
13 facts about the wonderful left
- Just 10 per cent of the world's population is left-handed and this has remained roughly the case for thousands of years. Men are also more likely to be left-handed.
- Historically left-handed people were considered inferior, with the use of the left hand being associated with witchcraft.
- Left-hand shakes are a sign of disrespect. This derives from the Middle Ages where people used to use their left hand to wipe after going to the toilet.
- The word sinister comes from the Latin word "sinestra" which originally meant “left” but took on meanings or “evil” or “unlucky.”
- Wedding rings worn on the third finger of the left hand originated with the Greeks and Romans, who wore them to fend of evil associated with the left-hand.
- Tennis champion Rafael Nadal switched to being a left-handed player - and there's a myth that his coach and mentor Toni Nadal noted it would give him a bigger advantage on court.
- A left-handed compliment is a criticism couched as a compliment; otherwise known as a backhanded compliment, such as “you are very competent for someone so inexperienced.”
- The term "left-wing" dates from the 1790s, when in the French revolutionary parliament the socialist representatives sat to the presiding officer's left. Leftists at this time were considered hostile to the interests of traditional elites.
- Christianity traditionally associated the left with evil through its description of a Last Judgement where the damned (“goats”) are sent to the left, and the saved (“sheep”) to the right.
- In The Simpsons, character Ned Flanders set up a shop to recognise the plight of left-handed people. Named “The Leftorium”, it specialised in left-handed products.
- Five out of the last eight US presidents write with their left-hand - Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
- Lefties are also called "southpaws". The term was coined in baseball to describe a left-handed pitcher.
- There's even a place called Left Hand. It's in West Virginia, US but sadly the town isn't named after its left-handed community. It's actually named after nearby Lefthand Run creek.