Well, this is
In this episode of, “We Hate You Because You’re Different” we look at ‘handedness’.
- lacking skill or dexterity.
lacking grace or ease in movement: an awkward gesture;
an awkward dancer.
lacking social graces or manners:
a simple, awkward frontiersman.
not well planned or designed for easy or effective use: an awkward instrument;
an awkward method.
requiring caution; somewhat hazardous:
an awkward turn in the road.
hard to deal with; difficult; requiring skill, tact, or the like: an awkward situation;
an awkward customer.
embarrassing or inconvenient; caused by lack of social grace:
an awkward moment.
It comes from an Old Norse word that means ‘turned the wrong way,’ always with the implication of somehow being in error.
I backed into this word and its myriad definitions, from ‘maladroit,’ above. There is not a synonym above which is not negative, judgemental, and/or insulting. The word ‘gauche’ in French, means ‘left.’ The only one that seems to be missing is the opposite for dexter/dexterous, which means right. Its opposite is ‘sinister.’
Southpaws in today’s modern society are three times as likely to have a home or work-related accident. Everything from can-openers to computer mice are designed for use by right-handed people. Only British lefties, driving floor-shift cars, gain an advantage.
The antipathy toward left-handed people is still surprisingly strong, and has been going on for millennia. (Most of) the Jews have been brought into the 20th Century on this issue. Being faced with a lefty can get a Muslim’s panties turban in a knot. If only we could get the Little Sheet-Head Arabs at least into the 9th.
If you sit with a Muslim, and cross your left leg over your right, pointing your left foot toward him, he is insulted. The Koran is strongly specific, even about which hand you can use to wipe your ass. It also details what 1200-year out-of-date material you must use to wipe it with. The modern, educated, observant, Muslim businessman’s washroom is liberally supplied with fresh burdock leaves.
The lengths to which some (religious) people will go, to prevent Us from becoming like Them, can be sadly amusing. During the Middle Ages – also correctly known as the Dark Ages – Christians didn’t bathe….because Jews did.