Meaning: unsophisticated and socially awkward.
Etymology: French (literally means ‘left’)
Usage in a sentence: “She felt gauche at the princess’s tea party.”
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:
- 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 😛 )
- But aren’t we all supposed to eat with our right hands? (I got stared at really badly for asking this question.)
- 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.)
- 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)
- 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 😀 )
- What about stitching and knitting? (Again, we had this Needlework lecture in school, so I ended up observing them a lot while they worked.)
- 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 😀