Are Latin "laevus" (left-hand side), Croatian "lijevo" (leftwards), and English "left" (in the sense "side") related? They definitely look like they could be related, but this Reddit comment claims they are not.

  • 4
    Did you try looking it up?
    – Cairnarvon
    May 21, 2023 at 15:25

1 Answer 1


Laevus and lijevo are, but "left" is not. The first two come from PIE *leh₂-i-wos, from *leh₂- "be hidden" (compare lateō and λανθάνω). The latter probably comes from PIE *lewp- "break, separate" (compare лупить "thrash"), though this is harder to be sure of because there are fewer attested cognates. But in general, it's very uncommon for English F to correspond to Latin V; English F generally comes from PIE *p.

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