Get up on the wrong side of the bed
Posted by ESC on November 24, 2000
In Reply to: Origin of "wake up on the wrong side of bed" posted by Wayne Magnuson on November 22, 2000
: If you know the origin of "wake up on the wrong side of bed" please get in touch with me. Thanks.
GET UP ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BED - "The wrong side of the bed is the left side, according to a superstition that goes back to the time of the Romans. People have been saying other people 'got up on the wrong side of the bed,' 'awoke surly or grouchy,' for well over three centuries now, usually not knowing the real meaning of what they are saying, but the equally old expression 'got up left foot forward' tells the story. The supposedly sinister nature of the left is reflected in many English superstitions and expressions, such as the belief that it is unlucky to put your left shoe first, or to walk into a house left foot first. The Romans, especially Augustus Caesar, were very careful that they got up on the right side of the bed, but there is no evidence that they were less grouchy than anyone else." From Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).