Search: what percentage of people are left handed
Why: The Tom Ripley in "Ripley's Game" (played by John Malkovich) seems much more sinister than the desperate, bumbling Tom Ripley in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (played by Matt Damon). In Latin, sinister comes from sinestra, "on the left" (while dexter means "on the right").
Answer: For years, it was widely accepted that 1 in 10 people are left-handed. However, research studies to back up this figure are very hard to find. Recently, small studies (usually among children) have come up with figures of between 12% and 15% of the population. The most recent study has concluded that 13% of the population are currently left-handed.
It is widely believed that there are slightly more left-handed boys, with normally about 5 boys for every 4 left-handed girls. A study of 3,000 schoolchildren in London recorded an even higher percentage of boys (11.6%) than girls (8.6%). Some research has linked left-handedness to the level of testosterone present in the womb before birth, which may explain the imbalance. Another suggestion - that girls tend to be more receptive to social mores and eager to conform, so may change to the hand of their peers - seems very unlikely, as we now know that handedness is not a matter of choice, but part of our physiological makeup.Source: AnythingLeft-Handed.co.uk
The More You Know: Other definitions of sinister:
- Unfavorable, unlucky
- Singularly evil or productive of evil
- a : of, relating to, or situated to the left or on the left side of something; especially : being or relating to the side of a heraldic shield at the left of the person bearing it b : of ill omen by reason of being on the left
- Presaging ill fortune or trouble
- Accompanied by or leading to disaster