Is there a difference between the pair dexter/sinister (right/left) and rectus/laevus?

I was only aware of the pair dexter/sinister until recently, when I learned that chiral molecules in molecular biology are labeled "D" and "L" to signify right- and left-handed versions. These letters are apparently inspired by dexter and laevus, which is perhaps extra surprising since it seems like this combines one word each from two common pairings, rather than sticking to a single pairing (e.g., "D" and "S", or "R" and "L".)

  • 2
    There's yet a third word for left, scaevus. – TKR Nov 2 '19 at 17:16

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