Posted by Masakim on December 10, 2001 at

In Reply to: Mollyduker posted by R. Berg on December 10, 2001

: : : : : (see subject)

: : : : : Thanks,
: : : : : KC

: : : : Definition of "backhanded," sense 3, in the American Heritage Dictionary: "Containing a disguised insult or rebuke." Example of a backhanded compliment: "Such a nice new dress--it does wonders for your figure."

: : : I have heard it called a "left-handed compliment."

: : Just learnt a new (albeit slang) word from my Australian mate Mollyduker meaning lefthanded - but can anyone sugest an origin for this?

: Maybe this entry in Eric Partridge's Dictionary of Catch Phrases: American and British, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day is behind it:

: "backwards, the way Mollie went to church," or with 'backwards' omitted. She DIDN'T go; hence, 'reverse what has just been said!': Anglo-Irish wit: C20.

: The "duker" component suggests fisticuffs. So molly + duker = backward puncher = one who hits with the "opposite" hand. Just a hypothesis, but plausible.

mollydooker noun a left-handed person. Also, mollydook. [probably from British dialect "molly" an effeminate man + "dook" the hand]
From The Macquarie Book of Slang

Left-handed person
molly-dook, molly-dooker, molly-duke Australian: probably from obsolete slang "molly" effeminate man, from the female personal name "Molly," a pet name of "May" + "dook," variant of "duke" hand; compare earlier Australian "mauldy" left-handed, "molly-hander" left-hander
Northern Daily Leader (Tamworth): Five of the top seven batsmen doing battle for Australia are left-handers. Kelper Wessels, Wayne Phillips, etc. ... are all molly dookers.
From Oxford Dictionary of Slang by John Ayto

Mauldy Left-handed. (J. Vance Marshall, Timely Tips for New Australians, 1926)

Mollydooker A left-handed person. Whence, 'molly dook' (adj.) left-handed. (Sidney J. Baker, A Popular Dictionary of Australian Slang, 1941)