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.


Nearby words

  1. southgate,
  2. southing,
  3. southington,
  4. southland,
  5. southmost,
  6. southport,
  7. southron,
  8. southward,
  9. southwardly,
  10. southwards

Origin of southpaw

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85; south + paw1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for southpaw

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 for southpaw

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

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