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Old June 13th 21, 11:29 AM posted to uk.d-i-y
The Natural Philosopher[_2_] The Natural Philosopher[_2_] is offline
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Default OT: Left hand down?

On 13/06/2021 07:26, Chris Hogg wrote:
On Sat, 12 Jun 2021 21:57:05 +0100, Graham Harrison

On Sat, 12 Jun 2021 17:13:04 +0100, "Commander Kinsey"

Why do people say left hand down instead of left? We all know which way to turn the wheel to make the car go left, and it's the same in reverse. And if I'm reversing looking over my shoulder, one hand isn't on the wheel so the phrase makes no sense!

My father was a concert pianist. He was being given a lift by another
pianist. Dad knew the way and was giving verbal instructions. Every
time he said left or right he noticed a definite hesitation on the
part of the driver. Then he had an idea and, instead of "turn left" he
said "turn bass" and instead of "right", "treble". He said it worked a

I thought it came from that radio series 'The Navy Lark' with Kenneth
Williams, Bill Pertwee and others. In it, HMS Troutbridge is crewed by
a bunch of incompetents, and instead of giving orders to the helmsman
such as 'steer 240 degrees', it was always 'left hand down a bit'.

But it may go back much further than that.

I always remember the overDundee cake...

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