Friday, February 4, 2011

Ambidextrous Vs. Ambisinister


Quite difficult looking words….aren’t they?

Let’s start with ‘Ambi’, which is common between the two words – Ambi is not a word but a root which means ‘both’ or ‘both sides’.

‘Ambidextrous’ is someone who is skillful in using both the right and left hand equally well.

Similarly, ‘Ambisinister’ is someone who is clumsy or unskillful with both the hands.

10 comments:

  1. One of my favourite ambi- words is 'ambiversion', which the OED defines as 'a condition of balance between extrovert and introvert features in the personality.'

    I like 'ambisinister', although it does make you sound a lot worse than you actually are! (ie. a little bit evil) : o )

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  2. Hey, thanks for that - Ambiversion - yet to meet someone who is an ambivert.

    Yeah, wonder why they had to use the word 'sinister' to indicate clumsy in this case (ambisinister)

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    1. It comes from that latin word sinister, which means "left handed" as well as the same definition as the english word "sinister". So the word ambisinster literally means "two left hands".

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  4. I don't see how anyone can dub anyone else Ambivert because no one knows the exact balance between introvert vs extrovert personality. I mean its not really defined or anything. Honestly there's probably no such thing.

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    1. It doesn't necessarily imply that they are at the perfect balance, but that they are very much a mix of both. In fact, I would say that ambiverts are somewhat common.

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  5. In Latin, "dexter" means "right" and "sinister" means "left", so "ambidextrous" would be "both right" and "ambisinister" would be "both left"

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  6. @Shilpa Vernekar I think ambisinister is 'two left hands', just as ambidextrous translates to 'having two right hands'.. The evil connotation of sinister came later perhaps

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  7. I would assume it comes from the religious derivative of the right hand being positive and the left being negative.

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  8. I love being ambidextrous although it's not something in my every-waking-moments thoughts. It just is what it is.

    Whatever the task I use whichever hand does the best job.

    I use a sewing needle left handed - but couldn't do hand quilting rocking motion so I switched to my right hand and Voila! the right hand sewing rocked the cradle!!

    Although I'm a rightie, I can write with either hand, and upside/down and backwards and at the same time. As a child-early adult I could write two different things at the same time.

    A college professor told me that these things would be "considered a learning disability" - and I laughed at him and told him to go back to school.

    In elementary school the worse problem I endured was using right hand scissors with my left hand. But I could not use them with my right hand. I hated using scissors.

    Now I have left handed scissors and also have scissors with a spring that can be used with either hand.

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