STO­RIES BE­HIND SU­PER­STI­TIONS

Why do we talk about the wrong side of the bed? There are sin­is­ter rea­sons un­der­foot

The Simple Things - - MISCELLANY -

Hav­ing a bad day? It’s not be­cause of that mas­sive de­lay on your way into work or for­get­ting that ap­point­ment. No, it’s ob­vi­ously be­cause you got out of the wrong side of the bed this morn­ing. These days, we don’t tend to have a spe­cific side in mind, but in ear­lier times, the wrong side specif­i­cally meant the left. The Latin ad­jec­tive sin­is­ter orig­i­nally meant ‘left’ but later took on mean­ings of both evil and un­lucky: inn-keep­ers were said to push beds against walls to pre­vent their guests be­ing able to get out of any­thing but the ‘right’ side.

Thank­fully mod­ern sur­veys trump Ro­man su­per­sti­tion. Over the past decade we’ve not only found that those who get out on the left side each day are likely to have more friends and to en­joy their jobs, but they are also more likely to be in a bet­ter mood than those who in­stead choose the right-hand side.

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