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