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Old October 8 2012, 01:39 AM   #101
Definitely Herbert. Maybe.
M'Sharak's Avatar
Location: Terra Inlandia
Re: Can you raise only one eyebrow?

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
Lulz. Is it a common second meaning in English? It's absent in Italian.
In my experience, "ambidextrous" means "equally adept with both hands" or at least signifies much less of the dominance of one hand over the other that you'd expect to find in a right- or left-handed person. While it's easy enough to see it also being used as a sly euphemism for "bisexual," I don't recall ever seeing "ambidextrous" used to mean deceitful, devious, dishonest, hypocritical or anything of that sort. I suspect that those more pejorative meanings haven't been in general English usage for three or four centuries.

Nonetheless, I did find sort of amusing the last sentence of this bit from the Wiki entry:
Wiki/Ambidexterity#Etymology wrote:

The word "ambidextrous" is derived from the Latin roots ambi-, meaning "both", and dexter, meaning "right" or favourable. Thus, "ambidextrous" is literally "both right" or "both favourable". The term ambidexter in English was originally used in a legal sense of jurors who accepted bribes from both parties for their verdict.[2]
Stuff like that is what can make digging into word histories so much fun.
As for literary criticism in general: I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel or a play or a poem is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or a banana split. ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
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