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90s Slang You Should Know


[south-paw] /ˈsaʊθˌpɔ/ Informal.
a person who is left-handed.
  1. a player who throws with the left hand, especially a pitcher.
  2. Boxing. a boxer who leads with the right hand and stands with the right foot forward, using the left hand for the most powerful blows.
Origin of southpaw
An Americanism dating back to 1880-85; south + paw1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for southpaw
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Devore has always been very weak at the bat with a southpaw in the box, dragging his right foot away from the plate.

    Pitching in a Pinch Christy Mathewson
  • If so,” laughed the southpaw, “he has been some busy person.

    Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager Burt L. Standish
  • The southpaw fought to prevent his lips from curling with scorn, and to suppress a look of triumph in his eyes.

    Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager Burt L. Standish
  • He was seeking to get at the southpaw with his bare left hand!

    Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager Burt L. Standish
  • The enemy over in southpaw had already advanced the prophecy that they would take the meeting-house.

    The Red Debt Everett MacDonald
  • The principal question was whether the southpaw could “go the distance.”

    Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager Burt L. Standish
  • “That may have been an accidental meeting,” said the southpaw.

    Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager Burt L. Standish
  • The southpaw was doing some serious thinking as he walked back to the mound.

    Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager Burt L. Standish
  • The swarthy little fabulist rose hastily to his feet, making a quick survey of the southpaw.

    Lefty Locke Pitcher-Manager Burt L. Standish
British Dictionary definitions for southpaw


a boxer who leads with his right hand and off his right foot as opposed to the orthodox style of leading with the left
any left-handed person
of or relating to a southpaw
Word Origin
C20: from paw (in the sense: hand): originally a term applied to a left-handed baseball player: perhaps so called because baseball pitchers traditionally face west, so that a left-handed pitcher would throw with the hand on the south side of his body
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for southpaw

"lefthander," 1885, originally baseball slang, of pitchers, often said to have been coined by Finley Peter Dunne ("Mr. Dooley"), Chicago sports journalist and humorist, in the days when, it is said, baseball diamonds regularly were laid out with home plate to the west. But south paw "a person's left hand" is attested from 1848 in the slang of pugilism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for southpaw



: switched to a southpaw stance for his 11th round


  1. A left-handed player, esp a pitcher; forkhander: Southpaw Warren Spahn pitched his 17th victory (Baseball)
  2. Any left-handed person: Many brilliant persons are southpaws, although perhaps only coincidentally (1940s+)

[apparently coined by the humorist Finley Peter Dunne, ''Mr Dooley,'' when he was a Chicago sports journalist and baseball diamonds were regularly oriented with home plate to the west]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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