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when did right start meaning correct

(5 Posts)
SaucyMare Tue 10-Feb-15 14:02:17

i have been thinking about this and gauche (left) meaning bad.
my word of the day today is maladroit (clumsy), so not right being another bad word.

maladroit is 1685, so can anyone go earlier.
I am hoping somebody has paid for the OED website (i was expecting £40 HOW MUCH....)

TeenAndTween Tue 10-Feb-15 14:23:03

You can go right back to the Latin I would think:
sinister - left
dexter - right - dexterous

PiratePanda Tue 10-Feb-15 14:31:21

A long way back. The cognate word in Persian, a distantly related Indo-European language, is rast (with a long aaaah) - it means both right, as in right hand, and correct. Can also mean straight, true, etc.

SaucyMare Tue 10-Feb-15 14:33:30

so the whole world has been anti-left for... well always.
I love this section of the board.

prism Sat 14-Feb-15 17:52:01

I have the OED (ye olde paper edition), and wading through the 6 and a half pages of small text it devotes to the word "right", the best answer ("agreeing with some standard or principle") seems to be attributed earliest to King Alfred in 888.

I can also reveal that "Mr Right" was coined in a story called The Baddington Peerage in 1860.

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