Long ago it was the custom for people on horseback who were armed with
swords, sabres or the like to pass another gent simililarly armed on the
left so that their weapons were handy for a right handed fight. Or
perhaps if no hostile intent was evident the right (weapon) hand might
be extended for a handshake. This resulted in the terminology of near
side i.e left side of the road going forwards, and off side. That is how
we in UK designate for example the legs of a horse, front offside, rear
nearside ect. It was but a small step to delineate the wheels of a wagon
and subsequently as they were invented the wheels of a car.
I don't know how this works for horse owners in Europe or the colonies
where they drive on the wrong side of the road. Perhaps the original
Pilgrims were all left handed.
Just my .03 Euros.
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