• southpaw
  • audio pronunciation
  • \SOUTH-paw\
  • DEFINITION

noun

: left-hander; especially : a left-handed baseball pitcher
  • EXAMPLES

"MLB's best team against righties has been one of its worst against southpaws…." — Brian Lewis, New York Post, July 7, 2012

"The Marlins added left-handed pitcher Michael Mader with the 105th overall pick of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft on Friday.… As a freshman, the southpaw went 8-3 with a 3.19 ERA and won the 2013 Panhandle Conference Player of the Year Award." — Maria Torres, MLB.com, June 6, 2014

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"Southpaw" is of obscure origin. A popular theory holds that it comes from the onetime position of ballparks in relation to the sun. Supposedly, late 19th-century ballparks were laid out so that the pitcher looked in a westerly direction when facing the batter. The throwing arm of a left-handed pitcher would then be to the south—hence the name "southpaw." This theory of its origin is undermined, however, by the fact that the original use of "southpaw" does not involve baseball at all. Rather, the term was used as early as 1848 to describe, simply, the left hand or a punch or blow given with the left hand. Today, we often use "southpaw" as a good-natured term for a left-handed person, but the word is sometimes viewed as stigmatizing by left-handed people.

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