Wrong Side

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

No, not literally, I’m not having crazy dreams like my father… yet.  (By the way – today’s post is more educational whereas the link to my dad’s dream, well, that’s downright funny!)

But when Uno woke me up an hour early and started whispering so loudly she woke up Dos and Tres, well, it’s just not my favorite way to start the day.

It got me thinking, how do we get the phrase “wrong side of the bed” anyway?  And, because I want everyone to be more educated on the miscellaneous things in life, here’s the answer:

“The wrong side of the bed is the left side, according to a superstition that goes back to the time of the Romans. People have been saying other people ‘got up on the wrong side of the bed,’ ‘awoke surly or grouchy,’ for well over three centuries now, usually not knowing the real meaning of what they are saying, but the equally old expression ‘got up left foot forward’ tells the story. The supposedly sinister nature of the left is reflected in many English superstitions and expressions, such as the belief that it is unlucky to put your left shoe first, or to walk into a house left foot first. The Romans, especially Augustus Caesar, were very careful that they got up on the right side of the bed, but there is no evidence that they were less grouchy than anyone else.” From “Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins” by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997)

I also found it interesting to look at other examples of “wrong sides”:

There are many similar expressions that begin the wrong side of …, of which the original seems to be wrong side of the blanket for a child born illegitimately. Some others are getting on the wrong side of somebody, the wrong side of the law, laughing on the wrong side of one’s mouth, and on the wrong side of forty (or thirty, or fifty, or almost any age, really).

All express the idea that there are good and bad aspects of any situation. A well-known American example, the wrong side of the tracks, is the only one of the set that seems to be based in a real, physical location.

Now, don’t you feel smarter now?  Almost smart enough to not have to be grumpy anymore?

Yeah, me neither.  But it was a good try!

Note: I went back and read the Dreamer post and realized I hadn’t included this more recent dream episode from my father: 

My dad was sound asleep on the sofa with our white poodle on his lap when he let out a huge roar and slapped his hands together, scooping the poodle up in the process, waving it around in front of him, poodle legs flailing.

My mom hit him and yelled, “Wake up!” He responded with, “I had to catch my rabbit!” I think the poodle on his lap is lucky to be alive.

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