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Headword: *laia/
Adler number: lambda,174
Translated headword: left [hand]
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning the] better [one],[1] or [a] stunted [one].[2]
Greek Original:
*laia/: a)ristera/, h)\ koloba/.
Same or similar entry elsewhere; see the references at Photius lambda27 Theodoridis.
The headword adjective is cognate with Latin laevus. See LSJ s.v.: "in Hesychius we have lai/ba, i.e. lai/va, = a)spi/s, because borne on the left arm."
[1] (More exactly, "bester", for the term appears to be a comparative formed on the stem of a superlative.) The expression provides a euphemism to avoid an ill-omened direct expression, just as another expression for 'left', eu)w/numos, the 'well-named' side, precisely because it was not. Compare alpha 3901, delta 225, lambda 193, phi 704.
[2] (For this adjective see kappa 1941, and cf. kappa 1942. Earlier lexica have 'h)\ kolo/bion', a short-sleeved tunic, which does not fit here. Theodoridis in his Photius edition [vol.II p.LXIII] identifies koloba/ as a textual emendation made by the Suda lexicographer himself.) In English, at least, clumsiness appears in expressions such as "two left hands/feet".
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; medicine; religion
Translated by: Oliver Phillips ✝ on 8 March 2005@21:06:17.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (supplied headword translation, augmented note) on 8 March 2005@23:25:27.
Catharine Roth (augmented note) on 8 March 2005@23:32:03.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 9 March 2005@02:46:54.
David Whitehead (modified one word of translation; augmented n.2) on 9 March 2005@08:49:14.
David Whitehead (further expansion of n.2) on 18 October 2011@09:26:08.
David Whitehead (another note; tweaking) on 4 April 2013@03:48:15.


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