I know, I'm really slacking off in here. I meant to post a lot of things, and still intend to, but personal life events are severely restricting my time right now. As soon as they ease off a little, expect a cavalcade of posting from me.
Sure, most people know what the word means now; "bad", "evil", "threatening", etc. But originally, waaaay back in the day, it actually referred to the left, or the left side of something. If a person was left-handed, they were "sinister". It's interesting to consider why the word has evolved into its current meaning, especially in light of what's happened to its opposite, "dexterous", meaning skillful, or clever (or right-handed). Its root, "dexter" has dropped out of usage, but it also meant "favorable" as well as 'on the right-hand side'. Interesting to see how we assign meaning in such ways, and how these two terms have become even more removed from each other. I don't know about anyone else, but on the association part of the SATs, I wouldn't have picked "night is to day, as evil is to skillful". Man, language is weird.