Dining Etiquette for Left-Handed People

Left-handed guests greatly appreciate hosts who seat them on the left end of the table or to the right of other left-handers.
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For left-handed people, dining can sometimes be a challenge. Since most people are right-handed, traditional place settings may seem backward, and when seating is tight, you always have to be vigilant about avoiding your neighbor's elbow. Observing some basic points of dining etiquette can help make the experience more pleasant.

1 Taking a Seat

If the gathering is casual, try to claim a seat at the left end of the table. If the dinner is formal and places are assigned, don't move your place card or try to rearrange seating. In cases where seating is very close, you may want to quietly inform the person to your left that you are left-handed and will try to avoid bumping elbows with them.

2 Using Your Utensils

A typical American right-handed diner will cut her food with the fork in her left hand and the knife in her right, then put her knife down on her plate and switch the fork to her right hand to eat. Left-handed diners may reverse this process completely, or they may simply cut with their right hand, leaving the fork in their left hand the whole time. Use whichever method is most comfortable.

Amy Wilde has worked as a grant developer, copy editor, writing tutor and writer. Based in Portland, Ore., she covers topics related to society, religion and culture. Wilde holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and classical civilization from the University of Toronto.