G for Gauche #AtoZChallenge

Gauche

Meaning: unsophisticated and socially awkward.

Etymology: French (literally means ‘left’)

Pronunciation: gōsh

Usage in a sentence: “She felt gauche at the princess’s tea party.”

gauche

Gauche is one of several words that come from old suspicions about lefties. In French, “gauche” literally means “left,” and it has the extended meanings like “awkward” and “clumsy.” In a world where there are more righties than lefties (Just 12 per cent of the world’s population are left-handed), it seems pretty weird seeing some people use their left hand to open doors, or eat food with. But honestly, I doubt that it makes much of a difference in today’s day and age. There was a time when parents forced their children to write with their right hand. Does that happen even today?

Being a lefty is weird, but having a righty friend constantly quiz you about how you go about doing ordinary things is gauche. Here’s a list of questions I’ve asked lefties:

  1. How do you hold your pen? Like, do you hold it in a different way? (The answer to this question encouraged me to start writing with my left hand. I used to do it in school and college. More so in college, because my crush was a lefty 😛 )
  2. But aren’t we all supposed to eat with our right hands? (I got stared at really badly for asking this question.)
  3. So you’re allowed to accept gifts with your left hand? (I asked my school friend this question, because I got shouted at by a teacher for taking the book she was offering me with my left hand.)
  4. Your right brain works better, right? (Again, they stared at me like I was acting too nerdish. But what can I do. We learnt about the human brain during that lecture, and I needed to know if the theoretical knowledge held some practical meaning)
  5. Do you need to customise your phone? (Don’t laugh at this question. This is a very legit problem that lefties have. iPhone swipes open from left to right and there is no option for changing it to right to left! That’s why Windows Phones have a swipe up/down feature. It’s actually lefty-friendly 😀 )
  6. What about stitching and knitting? (Again, we had this Needlework lecture in school, so I ended up observing them a lot while they worked.)
  7. Which hand do you like wearing a watch on? (I am a righty, but I like wearing my watch on my left hand. Another person I know is also a righty, but likes to wear his watch on his right hand. Hence the confusion)

So, what are the weird questions you have asked someone? More specifically, a lefty? Share this post with your lefty friends, and maybe they’ll tell you more about the weirdness of being a lefty in a righty-dominated society 😀

~Word-scavenger

Information sourced at Merriam-Webster and Mirror

 

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49 Comments Add yours

  1. Vinay Leo R. says:

    I had a classmate who was left-handed. 🙂 The only question I have asked him that may have been weird was why his handwriting was so horrible. (and it was, it really was, I couldn’t decipher a thing at times). 😛 And as for forcing kids to write right-handed, it does happen these days too. though not a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Most lefties have really horrible handwriting. One of my friends has a beautiful handwriting, but then she writes very slow.
      It does happen? *re-enters info into brain* But it shouldn’t happen, right? Like, we have phones to type with, and keyboards to punch. What difference does it make which hand we write with?
      Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

      Like

  2. My Era says:

    #2 would be an issue mainly in SE Asia where we eat with hand and the emphasis is on the right hand.
    #5 is something I had never thought about, but now that you mentioned, I think Windows phones have thought it well.
    In my class at college around 26 students were lefty out of a class of 100 students. That was the first & perhaps the last time I was surrounded by so many lefties. But overall, I feel people who work with their left hands or are ambidextrous are more artistic overall.
    Btw I use my right hand mainly but wear my wrist watch in the left hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My Era says:

      *Sorry hit post comment too soon*
      I have never asked anything weird to a lefty till date, this despite the fact that my BFF is a lefty *pats back*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. fabulus1710 says:

        Eating with the ‘right’ hand is something that our culture is too strict about!
        I myself didn’t realise about the Windows Phone thing. I read about it while researching for the blog post, and made the connection when I saw that the iPhone is not lefty-friendly!
        26 people! I hardly had a three four lefty people in school, but in college, almost half the class was lefty!
        Same here about the wrist watch! I can’t manage to write or type if I wear it on the right hand 😀
        Woah! If my bestie was a leftie, I would have bored her to death with my random questions 😛 *reminds self that I don’t have besties*
        Thank you for stopping by! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. aseemrastogi2 says:

    Oh never knew that being left handed was considered a problem. Maybe I have been hiding under rock and haven’t known that only 12% in the world are left handed :O.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      It really is! You need to start paying more attention to people around you 😛

      Like

  4. I am a lefty and things continue to be awkward like where to sit at a crowded table. The biggest problem with being a lefty and female in the business world is golf clubs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Sitting for an examination with a lefty is also awkward, specially when the hadns clash every time!
      Golf clubs? Now that’s something I need to add to my questions to be asked tank! 😀

      Like

      1. I should have elaborated more. Because so few people are left handed and golf is dominated by men, they don’t make a lot of golf clubs or assessories for left handed women. People forget you’re left and drive the cart close to your ball but on the wrong side.

        Like

  5. Modern Gypsy says:

    Lefties face a lot of problems in a world designed for right-handed people!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. pythoroshan says:

    Yes. Yes. Finally a word I knew.
    Atleast 1/26. Now I don’t feel as dumb as I am 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Forget this. Me reading your posts about television shows makes me feel like I’m come from the Stone Age. I’ve got no idea about TV, no idea about actors, nothing at all! Scored nil out of 26 😛
      Thank you for stopping by, doc 🙂

      Like

  7. Lata Sunil says:

    My maid is left handed and I see her struggling with simple things like opening a lock as the key is in the wrong direction, Igniting the gas burner because switches are on the left and knob is on the right. She is even embarrassed about eating with her left hand which would be a life long issue. I have assured her I have no issues with her left handedness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      There are so many things that we rightees take for granted! I didn’t think of the lock opening at all!
      All these problems will be solved when we get lefty architects and lefty interior decorators!
      And it’s great that you assured her about that. They already feel a bit limited when they work with their left hand, they don’t need more complications from us! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. kalaravi16 says:

    Hahaha, this was a fun read Mithila. Gauche questions: I asked as a kid….why should I talk to strangers? (when we had guests home), Are you a maid? I was asked by a kid of a full-time working mom since she thought only maids stayed at home while moms went to offices!
    Cheers
    @KalaRavi16 from
    Relax-N-Rave

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Exactly. Our parents tell us not to talk to strangers, and yet expect us to have full-blown conversations with relatives and guests 😀
      Phew. That question is really weird. Kids these days. They always blurt out things, and never send them through a thought-filter, unlike us adults!

      Thanks for stopping by, Kala ❤

      Like

  9. Hahhaa so much co fusions and questions 😝😝

    The crush one point :p was true for me too.

    Enjoyed reading the post :p

    The phone one, needle one, and others all are just good to read

    @dixita011 from
    Cafenined words

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Confusions and questions are truly a part of every lefty’s life! 😀
      I’m glad you liked this post 🙂

      Like

  10. Shalzzz says:

    The questions are too good 😛
    Enjoyed reading the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Thank you Shalini ❤

      Like

  11. 2 AM Writer says:

    My sympathies with left handed people. My sister is left handed and i am sure she has to put up with random questions like these all the time. 🙂 i *am* gauche. Unsophisticated and awkward in the most inopportune times… Like tripping and almost falling before an interview or saying words like ‘appropriate’ wrongly,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      You should ask her if she’s been asked the questions which I have asked people. I’m sure she’ll have some really witty answers for them! 😀
      These experiences are really gauche! The weirdest thing I end up doing almost everyday- tripping on the road, and awkwardly spreading my hands in a bid to balance msyelf. And then trying to walk like as if nothing happened 😛

      Thank you for stopping by 🙂

      Like

  12. G Angela says:

    Thanks for teaching a new word to me today G for Gauche – I did have a couple of friends who were lefties.. I did see it as a problem; as they were very good, they also had beautiful handwriting and they did everything normally like the others.. feel sorry for those who are facing problem because they are leftie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      And they’re good artists too 🙂
      That’s why I felt like writing about this in my G for post. Everyone knows about being gauche, but being gauche is like a lifestyle for lefty people. All of us just keep assuming they’re weird because of the way the do things sometimes! 😀

      Like

  13. sulekha says:

    My brother is a lefty 🙂 and I wanted to be like him when we were little. My mother didn’t let me imitate him but didn’t try to make him write with his right hand. The main problem we used to have was while seated at the dining table, his elbow would hit mine while eating 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      I’ve wanted to be a lefty too, because of that crush incident. But now, I feel it’s a good thing to learn, because I sometimes get tired while writing with my right hand 😀
      It’s good that your mom didn’t force him to write with the ‘right’ hand. And yes, that problem is true! Have you watched that movie Stanley ka Dabba? In that movie, the teacher solves the problem by switching the lefty’s and righty’s seating arrangement! Cool, ain’t it? 🙂
      Thank you for stopping by, Sulekha!

      Like

  14. Shalini says:

    Hahahah.. OMG … 😉
    My Bro is lefty and my mom tried hard to make him write from right hand but okay he was more comfortable with left in his childhood. I usually make fun of him when he do most things from left hand and it’s odd to even imagine. Brave enough you asked such questions ? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Now that was really gauche, Shalini. You shouldn’t have teased him for that 😀
      It really is odd to imagine a lot of things that lefties do with their left hand. 😛

      Brave? Naah. Just plain stupidity of me to ask such questions 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. inquisitivegeet says:

    That was indeed an interesting word! I just wondered it must be something around ‘Gosh!’, but it’s a totally different word! Good to know 🙂

    Cheers
    Geets

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Same here, when I heard the word for the first time!

      I’m glad you like the words and the posts 🙂

      Like

  16. Exactly some of the questions that I have asked some lefties and some questions which I just keep wondering about 😛
    Interesting word by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      I’m glad you could relate with this post, Reema 🙂
      Thank you! ❤

      Like

  17. Another lovely post, Mithila. I’m surrounded by lefties in the family and they all do the same things in their own quirky and different ways. (Using a pair of scissors, for example.) Our 4 year old is still making up his mind on which hand he prefers so I’m waiting to see which way he goes.
    Your opening sentence is so true about the origins of ‘gauche’ and the old superstitions. In Latin too, right hand is dexter and left handed is ‘sinister’. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      And you’re the only righty in the family? They make think that you’re weird then 😛
      Scissors can’t be handled by me properly even though I’m a rightee. The paper either gets cut in a zigzag shape, or nothing at all!
      I’ve always wondered how one can figure out whether a child is a leftee or a rightee. How do you know it?
      Yes, and that’s why dexterous is a positive adjective! I wonder why JK Rowling named Professor Sinistra that way, though 😀

      Like

  18. Shilpa Garg says:

    This was a fun post! Havent seen a lefty from close quarters! But after reading your questions, I am actually wondering about #3. Must observe somebody now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Do try and observe a lefty. I’m sure you’ll ask the same questions and many more! 🙂

      Like

  19. Carrie-Anne says:

    I’m a huge sinistral chauvinist, and always have at least several lefties or ambidextrians in my books. I was in the closet about the true extent of my left-handedness till 2011, when I switched my primary writing and eating hand, though I kind of always knew, even before I knew. The reason I was confused for so long was because I grew up writing right-handed, though I did almost everything else left-handed, and I began teaching myself left-handed writing from age seven. It’s totally not true that one’s primary writing hand is the true measure of one’s dominant handedness, contrary to what many people believe.

    Handedness is one of my passions and areas of amateur expertise, and it makes me so sad to read about lefties in the past (and more traditional cultures today) being shamed, bullied, and force-switched out of their natural inclination. Handedness, like many other things in life, exists along a spectrum. We have classifications like strongly left-handed, right-handed mixed, non-right-handed, truly ambidextrous, left-handed mixed, and weakly right-handed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Wow, you actually research about handedness! That’s super cool 🙂
      Being truly ambidextrous is something I would do anything for. But I guess I’m right-handed mixed, because I can play throwball with my left hand, and also write a few lines 🙂
      Thank you for sharing this information, Carrie! 🙂

      Like

  20. Beat About The Book says:

    My son is a lefty and is quite happy with himself since he discovered August 13 is Leftie Day! I barely notice it though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Yes it sure is! I wonder how lefties celebrate that day, though. 🙂
      You should pay attention to it, it really is interesting how they manage to adapt in a world where most things are not meant for lefty-use!

      Like

  21. Seeya says:

    seeing people write with left hand had always excited me n I always wished I was one among them.
    I don’t think working with either hand is any issue

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Same here! Surely, it would be a great way to write really long blog posts, specially when the right hand starts paining 😀

      Like

  22. Indywrites says:

    I can just imagine the looks!! My son is a bit of both so it is odd to see him doing things with his left hand and promptly switching to the right coz his right was near or vice versa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      That makes him ambidextrous! It’s super cool, you know. Watching them switch pens like as if it’s magic! 🙂

      Like

  23. Alexis says:

    I had a friend who switched the computer mouse to left side. Was very weird using his computer. I’ve also done some non-dominant-hand drawing challenges – the results were pretty cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. fabulus1710 says:

      Yup, there is an option for that too in a Windows PC. I tried switching the buttons once. It just caused a little confusion, because we’re so used to using it with the right hand 😀

      Like

  24. Dahlia says:

    My son is a lefty and a doc – he really looks weird giving IV injections, many offer to help thinking he is having trouble, much to his annoyance. Although he quite laps up the attention his writing draws, nurses actually used to come to request him to sign requisition slips because of the odd way he holds the pen. If you look at the sheet it looks as if ants are dropping and crawling on the page 🙂 A very enjoyable post – thank you!

    Like

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