Dexter: Sir Eveland’s Word of the Night – Dec 8th, 2016

In medieval heraldry, dexter is an adjective used to define a location on a coat of arms. Dexter means situated towards the right from the bearer’s perspective, perforce appearing left from the onlooker’s perspective. This dexter side of a coat of arms is also known as the ‘proper right,’ and its antonym or opposite is ‘sinister.’ The dexter side of a coat of arms or escutcheon is generally reserved for honorable charges, while the sinister or ‘proper left’ side is reserved for bastardly charges. Here’s an example: the dexter arrowhead on the knight’s shield pointed at the westering sun, while his sinister chevron thrust at the gates of hell. In everyday context, however, dexter is simply a synonym for ‘right.’ An example of this is: he winked his dexter eye as he smirked.

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