Sinister Bend

The word sinister is commonly defined as, “something harmful or evil.” This definition, though, is yet another example of the inherent prejudice in our world. The original meaning of sinister is simply, “on the left side.” Because people, no matter their location, time period, or culture, all hate the left-handed, the word took on its negative connotations.

In medieval times when noble knights fought in suits of armor it was incredibly difficult to tell who anybody was, let alone what side they were on. Therefore, the art of Heraldry, or turning simple names into terribly complicated symbols, was developed. A coat of arms on a person’s armor allowed everyone else to know who they actually are.

In heraldry, a bend is a stripe running from the top right corner of the shield to the bottom left. Therefore, a sinister bend is the opposite, running from the top left to the bottom right. A sinister bend was often taken to be a sign of bastardy. This, though, is not the meaning I was going for; I most certainly was not born out of wedlock.

Sinister bend can also mean, “son of the left hand.” Since this is 2012, and we are supposed to be basking in the tolerance of the postmodern era, we should throw away antiquated semantic discrimination. A son of the left hand is just as good as the son of the right. Maybe even better.

As the old but tragically underused saying goes, “If the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, only the left-handed are in their right minds!”