The War of the Hands

With the ongoing battle regarding handedness – it might be wise to put the issue at rest with right hand usage privy from the history books -

For most of recorded history, the right hand has been the favoured hand, chosen for important public acts! The still important handshake is among the most prominent still today. Throughout history an extended and opened right hand showed that the person intended no harm, since the right hand was the hand that held the sword. The same goes for eating “ …we do accustome our children to take meate with the ryght hand, & if they put forthe the lefte hande, we anone (at once) correct them” (verbatim from Plutarch (1533).

Similarly all gentle gestures and mannerisms related to deportment throughout history would be seen as tasteful and respectful if indicated with the right hand only “… principle gestures are to be made with the right arm” (Putnam, 1533).

Most especially, the right was then the obvious hand for writing (seeing as a status thing for the educated few), a practice increasingly required of all children with the expansion of formal schooling and literacy.