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Re: Southpaw

Posted by TheFallen on February 07, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Southpaw posted by Bob on February 07, 2003

: : Realizing that this refers to a left handed pitcher in baseball, can anyone confirm the origin? I believe I know what it is but I want to see if I get an independent concurrence before posting my opinion.

: : ... Thanks
: To minimize the handicap of having to squint into the sun, most baseball diamonds were laid out with the direction of pitcher to batter (note to UK: bowler to batsman) east to west. A left-handed pitcher, therefore had his throwing arm on the south side. Slangy newspaper writers shortened that to southpaw.

Interesting. The expression "southpaw" is well-known in the UK too, but almost exclusively used in the world of boxing. A southpaw fighter is also left-handed, and so leads with his right hand. I suppose the word migrated in the US from baseball over into boxing, and since we Brits know nothing about baseball, we waited until it had moved before adopting it.