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Sinister

(Latin, on the left hand). According to augury, birds, etc., appearing on the left-hand side forbode illluck; but, on the right-hand side, good luck. Thus, corva sinistra (a crow on the left-hand) is a sign of ill-luck which belongs to English superstitions as much as to the ancient Roman or Etruscan.(Virgil: Eclogues, i. 18.)

That raven on yon left-hand oak (Curse on his ill-betiding croak)
Bodes me no good.

Gay: Fable xxxvii.

Sinister. (See Bar Sinister.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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