Pronounced: MITH-uh-main, noun/adj

Notes: A useful word to know

Yesterday’s word

The word ambisinistrous means “clumsy with both hands”

First usage

Our word came into English in the mid-1800s

Background / Comments

If you split this word into ‘ambi’ and ‘sinistrous’, and then saw “sinister” in ‘sinistrous’, and then remembered that ‘sinister’ originally meant ‘left’, and then thought of the word ‘ambidextrous’, and then finally thought of the phrase “two left feet” (meaning to be clumsy with feet; especially in reference to dancing), you would would have reasoned your way to the meaning. Our word does come from the Latin words ambi- (both) and sinister (left). It was modeled after ‘ambidextrous’ (literally, two right hands). It seems a little unfair to left-handed people that people with two right hands are skillful, and and people with two left hands are clumsy. However, 75%-90% of people are right-handed, and are therefore clumsy when trying to do things with their left hand. Oddly enough, there is a another word, also from Latin with the same meaning: ‘ambilevous’.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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