half-right









half-right


<. Cf. similar sense evolution in Dutch recht, German recht “right (not left),” from Old High German reht, which meant only “straight, just.”

The usual PIE root (*dek-) is represented by Latin dexter (see dexterity). Other derivations on a similar pattern to English right are French droit, from Latin directus “straight;” Lithuanian labas, literally “good;” and Slavic words (Bohemian pravy, Polish prawy, Russian pravyj) from Old Church Slavonic pravu, literally “straight,” from PIE *pro-, from root *per- (1) “forward, through” (see per).

The political sense of “conservative” is first recorded 1794 (adj.), 1825 (n.), a translation of French Droit “the Right, Conservative Party” in the French National Assembly (1789; see left (adj.)).

v.

Old English rihtan “to straighten, rule, set up, set right, amend; guide, govern; restore, replace,” from riht (adj.); see right (adj.1). Cf. Old Norse retta “to straighten,” Old Saxon rihtian, Old Frisian riuchta, German richten, Gothic garaihtjan. Related: Righted; righting.

n.

Old English riht (West Saxon, Kentish), reht (Anglian), “that which is morally right, duty, obligation,” also “rule of conduct; law of a land;” also “what someone deserves; a just claim, what is due; correctness, truth; a legal entitlement, a privilege,” from the root of right (adj.1). Meaning “the right” (as opposed to the left) is from mid-13c.; political use from 1825. From early 14c. as “a right action, a good deed.” Meaning “a blow with the right fist” is from 1898. The phrase to rights “at once, straightway” is 1660s, from sense “in a proper manner” (Middle English).

adv.

Old English rehte, rihte “in a straight or direct manner,” from right (adj.1). Right on! as an exclamation of approval first recorded 1925 in black slang, popularized mid-1960s by Black Panther movement.

In addition to the idioms beginning with right

  • right and left
  • right as rain
  • right away
  • right in the head
  • right off
  • right off the bat
  • right of way
  • right on
  • right out
  • right side of the tracks
  • right side, on someone’s
  • right tack
  • right up one’s alley

also see:

  • all right
  • all right for you
  • all right with one
  • by rights
  • come (right) out with
  • dead to rights
  • get right
  • give one’s eyeteeth (right arm)
  • go right
  • go (right) through one
  • hang a left (right)
  • have a right to
  • have a screw loose (one’s head screwed on right)
  • heart in the right place
  • hit (right) between the eyes
  • in one’s own right
  • in one’s right mind
  • in the right
  • left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing
  • might makes right
  • not right in the head
  • (right) on the money
  • on the right foot
  • on the right tack
  • play one’s cards right
  • price is right
  • put right
  • sail (right) through
  • serve one right
  • set right
  • set to rights
  • step in the right direction
  • strike the right note
  • that’s right
  • turn out all right
  • two wrongs do not make a right
  • when it comes (right down) to

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