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In Korean, we also use the same words for "right hand" and "right side".
Thinking about the etymology of "right hand" in Korean, it seems to talk about "right hand" is a proper hand, contrasted with "left hand", regarded as "wrong hand".
This might be kind of offensive for left-handers - I'm sorry I don't have any bad intention, just academic one - also in English, hasn't "right hand" come from the notion that it is the proper, correct, and upright hand to use?
Last edited by keannu; 01-Nov-2012 at 22:11.
Yes, you're right Keannu, there is a long tradition of all things left-sided being seen as evil/wrong/bad luck etc. The word "sinister", for example, comes from the Latin for "left" and "unlucky". In French gauche means both "left" and "awkward" while "droit" is both right (side) and right (legally). Many other languages (Spanish for example) can carry negative connotations for "left-sided", whilst right-sided is seen to be "correct" or "lawful".
Thanks for both of your excellent explanations. Korean's "right" in "right hand" has the pronunciation "orun", which is the slight variation of "olun", whch means "correct, lawful" and sometimes Koreans even pronounce it as "barun", which is exactly "correct, lawful" without any meaning of "contrary to the left side".
So it's quite evident "righ" in "right hand" comes from "correct, lawful" in Korean and I realized many human beings and traditions have the same psychology regardng it.
Last edited by keannu; 03-Nov-2012 at 02:38.
Well...one robin does not make a spring. Just because you have found a few cultures who see things this way is no indication that all people believe thus. In the west we use 10 as a base for our numbering system and this seems to make sense since we have ten fingers and ten toes, but there are other cultures who use 12 as a base and three is used in some places.
You are right, I jumped to the conclusion because of my eureka pleasure. Please see my blushing similey in #5
[QUOTE=Gillnetter;937793]Just because you have found a few cultures...QUOTE]
A few cultures? Er...all European cultures, Russia, Korea, South America...etc etc