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Quiz about Better Dead Than Left  LeftHanded That Is
Quiz about Better Dead Than Left  LeftHanded That Is

Better Dead Than Left -- Left-Handed That Is Quiz


Since the earliest times the left-hand has been portrayed as a sign of evil, bad-luck and/or weakness. This quiz looks at all things associated with the left-hand. Go on take this quiz using your left-hand ... if you dare.

A multiple-choice quiz by adam36. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
adam36
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
358,371
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
533
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
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Question 1 of 10
1. Let's get right into this: one source of much of the ill-will towards left-handed people is found in the Christian Bible. What New Testament gospel writer is credited for the quote, "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. While we are talking about the Christian Bible, in a famous parable what animals are associated with being on the left hand of Christ? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Several religions and cultures have a problem with left-handedness. Why is it considered unclean to use your left hand by Muslims? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. What common English word for evil comes from the Latin word for left? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Why did the Incas loathe left-handedness? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Until the early post-war reforms, what could a Japanese man do if he discovered his wife was left-handed? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. If you went to an "augur" in ancient Rome, what was the significance of birds flying to the left? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. In Chinese (Tao) philosophy as depicted in a Taijitu or "divided circle", what is the energy on the left-side called?

Answer: (One Word; Three Letters)
Question 9 of 10
9. What was a Meru (Kenya) holy man supposed to do with his left hand because it was considered the repository of great evil? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The modern English word "left" originates from the Anglo-Saxon word for what? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Let's get right into this: one source of much of the ill-will towards left-handed people is found in the Christian Bible. What New Testament gospel writer is credited for the quote, "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"?

Answer: Matthew

The quotation is from Matthew 25:41, and certainly paints a poor future for those on the left side of God at "Judgment". In and of itself, Matthew does not say that people who USE their left hand are evil. Nonetheless, for centuries that is how the passage has been interpreted. The notion that "righteousness" in Biblical terms comes from the right side and evil from the left is not limited to Matthew. Numerous Biblical scholars point out that there are over 100 positive references to the "right" side equaling goodness and favor; and more than twenty references (including Matthew 25:41) that equate the left with misfortune and evil.

My personal favorite is from the book of Ecclesiastes 10:2: "A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left". In tribute to my fellow teammates, I have to point out that ultimately we are all "fools" since the last time I checked, every human's heart was located more to the left side of their body.
2. While we are talking about the Christian Bible, in a famous parable what animals are associated with being on the left hand of Christ?

Answer: Goats

Apparently Matthew was not a fan of the left hand. Before his Gospel comes right out and says that to be on the left hand is to be "evil", he alludes to the fact with verses 24:31-25:34. These verses are often referred to as the "Parable of the Sheep and Goats". As translated in the New International Version (NIV), these passages go: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left".

As parables go, the "Sheep and Goats" reference is one of the more accessible lessons to common understanding. A goat is often capricious and single-minded. Goats are horned and can be dangerous to herd. Sheep follow the shepherd and like to be led. Sheep are compliant and generally docile. Christianity is replete with references to God as a "shepherd", and the righteous as the "flock". It is consistent with dogma that the compliant sheep is "good" and the willful stubborn goat is "bad".

To make matters even worse, the goat has been often been associated as a herald or servant of the devil in Old Testament lore. For example, there is the reference to the sacrificial goat (scapegoat) that was sent away to represent and expurgate the sins of the congregation as part of the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) ritual. Also, there is the "goat-like demons" mentioned in both Isaiah and Leviticus.

So allow me recap: goats are like demons, goats are sent to the left at judgment, and those on the left are cursed. Therefore, if I remember my logic course from college, to be on the left (handed) is to be cursed - or you will look like a goat. Either way, it is not good.
3. Several religions and cultures have a problem with left-handedness. Why is it considered unclean to use your left hand by Muslims?

Answer: the left hand is supposed to be used for bathroom clean up

To understand why the left-hand is considered unclean, we need to get some statistics. Anthropologists have stated that the percentage of right/left handedness has remained stable over human history. While there is little agreement as to what is the exact percentage of right to left handedness, the range seems to suggest that no more than thirty percent of humans are natural left-handers. Other studies suggest the number is as low as five percent. Either way, most people are right-hand dominate, so they use their right hand for most public functions (like eating, shaking hands, etc). Once we get to this point, you can see why it makes perfect sense that the left-hand would be used for more "unclean" purposes (at least until you invent some way to clean your hands, like soap or hand sanitizer).

There is, as in everything, a debate as to whether Islam prohibits the use of the left hand to eat or whether it is a best practice or a way of life, sunnah. Either way, it is considered offensive to eat with your left hand, and in most Middle East countries tourists are strongly advised to be careful or risk offense.
4. What common English word for evil comes from the Latin word for left?

Answer: Sinister

The Latin word "sinistra" originally meant "left", but as time went on it took on the meanings of "evil" or "unlucky", consistent with the pattern of equating anything for the left side as evil.

In addition, the Latin definitions of right and left found their way into Medieval heraldry. "Dexter" (Latin for right) came to mean the symbols on the right side of a shield or coat of arms, while "sinister" was associated with the left. A diagonal strip along the coat of arms starting from the top right and ending on the bottom left was a "bend sinister". As heraldry is ultimately about family, there was a convention that appeared in English coats of arms in the 15th or 16th century to add a bend sinister to a child that was recognized by the father but not from the father's wife. This mark of illegitimacy did not carry the same negative consequences or implications of morality on the child that it did in later years.

Later, the bend sinister became the "barre" sinister in French and the "bar" sinister in English. While spelled differently, "barre" and "bar" are pronounced the same. English historical fiction writers in the 18th century, most notably Sir Walter Scott, adopted the term "bar sinister" to mean a bastard child. By this time there was both a connection between left and evil and illegitimacy and evil, so the "bar sinister" became a mark of evil. Moreover, it would not have escaped Scott and his peers that "bar" also meant "son of" in Hebrew, thus adding emphasis to the point that the illegitimate child is literally the "son of evil".

It is thus no small wonder that the most wicked villain of all, the sworn enemy of Underdog, was named Simon Bar Sinister. Of course, this being a cartoon from the early 1960s, you could not call the villain by his real name --"Simon the Bastard".
5. Why did the Incas loathe left-handedness?

Answer: They didn't; left-handedness was actually considered positive.

Yes, I know it is hard to believe, but the Incas of South America not only didn't hate or fear left-handedness, but appeared to revere those "afflicted" with the trait. Among Incas, left-handers were called by the name "lloq'e", which refers to good fortune. Many of the Andean cultures, due in no small part to Inca expansion in the pre-Columbian 13th-15th centuries, considered left-handers to possess special abilities, including speaking to ancestors, performing magic and miraculous healing. One of the great Inca kings of this period, Lloque Yupanqui, was left-handed. His name, when translated from Quechua, means "the glorified left-hander". Lloque was reputed to have lived a hundred years. Unfortunately for him, Lloque was also known as "The Unforgettable Left-Handed One" because he was reportedly really unattractive.

Other indigenous American tribes also held positive opinions of left-handers. Eskimos and other Inuit cultures thought the rarity of left-handedness was linked to an affinity for magic and the propensity to be a sorcerer. The Zuni tribe of Native Americans in the US southwest also considered left-handedness to be a sign of wisdom.

Also, those rumors that left-handers are smarter than righties ... well they might true. Tests conducted by scientists in New York found that there were more left-handed people with high IQs (Stanford-Binet above 140) than right-handed people. We will never get to another question if I list all the famous left-handed intellectuals, but let's just start with Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Benjamin Franklin.
6. Until the early post-war reforms, what could a Japanese man do if he discovered his wife was left-handed?

Answer: Get a divorce

Until the early post-war reforms, Japanese law counted a husband establishing that his wife was left-handed as justifiable grounds for divorce. There are no statistics as to how frequently this excuse was used. Asian bias against left-handedness has long persisted.

In Taiwan, left-handed people have been "encouraged" to swap to being right-handed or at least to write with the right-hand. In Chinese culture, the adjective "left" generally means "improper" or wrong. As such, we get the phrase "left path" as meaning an immoral act or course of dealing.

In South Korea, educators no longer bind the left hand of children who show a propensity to write left-handed, but show a high degree of preference for the use of the right hand.
7. If you went to an "augur" in ancient Rome, what was the significance of birds flying to the left?

Answer: Bad luck for you

Augury is the determination of the future based on the flight of birds. Augury was common in ancient Greece, but the Romans were far more invested in the practice and created a complete system of rules and practices. The Romans went so far as to create a "college of augurs" who were elected for life and had a monopoly on reading the "signs". The function of augury was similar to the oracles in Greece. The augur did not tell the future, as a fortune teller would; instead, he would answer specific questions as to whether a proposed course of action had the Roman gods' blessings. If an augur saw in the birds some glimpse of future events, he was free to offer the information.

When the wild birds were observed, the auger determined a "templum" or portion of the sky to be watched, dividing the area into left and right and sometimes also front and back regions. Generally the auger would face east and the significance of a bird's flight varied according to the direction from which it came. When the flight of birds appeared on the left side of the templum the augur would interpret the contemplated action as being bad luck or "inauspicious". Of course, if the flight appeared from the right side of the templum area then that was good luck. The augury or "auspices" were taken before any important military or public event, but the officer responsible had the power to reject the advice of the augurs at his peril. The augurs were not religious figures; rather they were more like scholars and consultants (in my experience, not too dissimilar from consultants today). Among the proponents of augury were the Emperors Augustus and Claudius.

The advanced science of augury is to be distinguished from the patently absurd fakery of haruspices, another form of auspices used in the Empire. Haruspices was the practice of divining the future from an examination of the entrails of sacrificed animals (birds and in particularly chickens). Kidding aside, there is scholarly work that suggests a scientific value to haruspices with parallel to modern science. The haruspex inspecting the entrails of an animal is likened to the autopsy, where the diviner might have been able to discern disease as a warning.

Augury fell out of fashion during the late empire, and in particular after the rise of Christianity.
8. In Chinese (Tao) philosophy as depicted in a Taijitu or "divided circle", what is the energy on the left-side called?

Answer: Yin

In the Chinese-based Tao philosophy, the concept of "yin and yang", is used to describe the duality found repeatedly in nature and that together make up the "chi" or life-force of the universe. Yin-yang conceptually examines and explains how opposite and contrary forces are in actuality interconnected and interdependent. Another important aspect of the harmony of yin-yang is that these seeming opposites only have meaning in the context and comparison to the other. In fact, Taoism states that "yin" and "yang" are actually complementary, not opposing, forces, interacting to form a whole greater than either separate part.

In the classic depiction of the yin-yang called the "Taijitu" (commonly referred to as the "divide circle"), the yin side is always on the left in black with just a small circle of white; while the yang force is on the right in white with a similar circle of black. Western analysis of these representations often apply a simplistic definition that yang energy is "good" and yin energy is "bad or evil". The concept of a "female left-sided black" force opposing the "male right white" side raises a near perfect storm of prejudice for the European's first encountering the Tao concept of yin-yang.

However, to the Taoist everything has both yin and yang aspects. Yin is female and yang is male. They fit together as two parts of a whole. Thus, this gives rise to the association of female traits to the left side and male traits to the right. The right side yang energy is equated with the sun: active, bright, and shining; the female yin energy corresponds to the moon: passive, shaded, and reflective. Male toughness is balanced by female gentleness, male action and initiative countered by female wisdom, endurance and need for completion.
9. What was a Meru (Kenya) holy man supposed to do with his left hand because it was considered the repository of great evil?

Answer: Hide it from sight

The Meru people of Kenya apparently believed that the left-hand of their holy men was possessed of such an evil power that the priest needed to keep the hand hidden for the safety of anyone he touched. Why the Meru thought the left-hand of their priests were so filled with evil is not explained. However, there are some interesting clues in the confusing history of the Meru themselves.

The Meru are a tribe divided into various sub-tribes that predominately live in the north and eastern slope of Mount Kenya. "Meru" refers to both the people and the location. The Meru are not indigenous to the area and have a complicated origin myth that bears more than a little similarity to the Biblical tale of the Israelite Exodus from Egypt.

While many versions of this origin myth exist, a consistent summation is that the Meru once lived in a state of slavery under the Red People. The Red People were powerful and cruel. Who or where the Red People lived has also not been proved. There is support that the Red People refers to people that lived on or near the Red Sea. Whatever the exact location, this state of bondage lasted until the King of the Red People started killing all the Merus' male children shortly after their birth. One child escaped this fate by being hidden in the riverside in a basket by his mother. This child became known as the "Hidden One" or "Mwithe". Mwithe grew up to become a great prophet and de facto leader of the Meru. Mwithe organized a group of Meru elders to force the Red People to free the Meru from bondage. They went to the King of the Red People and asked to be set free. The Red People's king, but only on condition that the Meru complete a series of nearly impossible tasks. Using both magic and logic, apparently, the Meru succeeded and held the Red People to their bargain. However, in making their escape the Meru had to move fast and cross a large body of water that required the use of magic.

Speculation in Biblical and anthropological circles is that the Meru could be a "lost" tribe of Israelites that settled in East Africa during the initial Jewish diaspora. Since the Israelites harbored the traditional Judo-Christian concept of the left-hand being associated with evil, it would be a short leap in logic to explain why the "lost tribe" of Meru would so associate the left-hand of their priest with powerful evil.
10. The modern English word "left" originates from the Anglo-Saxon word for what?

Answer: weak

One of the universal concepts of European linguistic development is a version of our modern English word "left" as meaning weak or disabled. Generally "left" derives from the Anglo-Saxon word "lyft" which meant "weak" or "useless". Old German, Swedish and Dutch all have antecedent words to the common term used for "left" that mean either weak or useless. Since most people are right-handed, the left hand, it stands to reason, would be the "weaker" hand. However, in many instances, the ability to use the left-hand is a distinct advantage and far from useless. In fencing and boxing the ability to use the left-hand can confuse and power a right-handed opponent. Oscar de la Hoya and Marvin Hagler were natural left-handers. In activities where the line of sight of an opponent is affected by which hand an activity initiates, such as throwing a baseball or hitting a tennis ball, left-handers have performed extraordinarily well. Great left-handed tennis players include all-time greats such as Rod Laver, John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors.

While modern science of brain hemispheric separation provides some explanation, there has always been a correlation between use of the left hand and creative or artistic activities. Michelangelo, Dürer, Da Vinci and Raphael are a sampling of artists who were reputedly left-handed. Aristotle, Curie, Henry Ford, Linus Pauling (and the aforementioned Einstein, Franklin and Newton) are examples of great minds that used being left-handed to change the world.

In the end, whether left-handers are the subject of so much prejudice because they are smarter, more creative, more affluent and better looking (OK, I made that up, but Kim Basinger, Greta Garbo and Cary Grant are left-handed) than righties or because right-handers are simply slow-minded ignorant bullies, the truth is that if you are left-handed (here comes the surprise) like me, you have always been special.
Source: Author adam36

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Pagiedamon before going online.
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