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southpaw:  a minor correction for the big list
Posted: 05 July 2012 11:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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There are these occasions on Wordorigins when one feels like an accidental passenger on a time machine.

The 1813 article, as Dave explains on the homepage article, seems to reference the different physical locations between north and south. The 1848 political cartoon brings in the possibility that a “southpaw” is something akin to a left uppercut. You always lead with your right, then follow with a left hook out of nowhere.

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Posted: 06 July 2012 02:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Iron Pyrite - 05 July 2012 11:24 PM

There are these occasions on Wordorigins when one feels like an accidental passenger on a time machine.

The 1813 article, as Dave explains on the homepage article, seems to reference the different physical locations between north and south. The 1848 political cartoon brings in the possibility that a “southpaw” is something akin to a left uppercut. You always lead with your right, then follow with a left hook out of nowhere.

Then although the earliest cited usage doesn’t have any sporting context, it’s likely the expression came originally from boxing?  I see one source says Helmbold kept a tavern as well as being a publisher, so he’d be in the right milieu.

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Posted: 06 July 2012 03:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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In the new version of the entry, which takes into account the 1813 citation, I’ve deleted the reference to a possible origin in boxing. That no longer seems plausible.

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