Word and Phrase Origins

What is the origin of the word sinister?

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2009-10-03 10:41:37
2009-10-03 10:41:37

This word has a surprising origin -- "sinister" is the Latin word for"left". Throughout history, many people considered the left side to be evil or unlucky (in Latin, "sinister" also meant unlucky), and the right side to be good. Left-handedness itself was considered a malady, and until recently it was common for teachers to require left-handed children to use their right hands in an effort to "cure"them.Similarly, in English the word right -- meaning right side -- is the same as the word right -- meaning correct or fitting, as in "right answer" and "legal right." This is also true in many other languages;examples include French (droit), Spanish (derecho), and Russian(pravo).
Source:http://www.mail-archive.com/word@tlk-lists.com/msg00018.html

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