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Got an itchy left hand?
You might not think anything of it, and let’s face it, most of us wouldn’t.
But you also may or may not be familiar with the superstitions surrounding this little phenomenon. And believe me, they date way back!
So, just for a bit of fun and because we’re all guilty of reading into signs here and there, I want to share the supposed meaning of an itchy left palm and the impact it may have on your financial fortunes!
We’ll answer a few key questions surrounding this myth, such as where it comes from, whether or not it’s actually come true for people, as well as take a look at some other common money superstitions.
So let’s find out whether or not that itchy left hand is a good sign or not!
Related Read: How to Make $300 FAST When Money’s Tight
What are the potential medical reasons why your left hand itches?
Before we look at the superstitious beliefs surrounding an itchy left hand, it’s important to note that itchy palms can actually be a sign of a medical condition.
So first, we have to rule this out.
Take a look at the five most common medical reasons why your hands might be itching:
- Dry skin — Cold weather causes the humidity to also drop. This lower level of moisture in the air is made even worse by indoor heating. As a result, your skin can dry out, become cracked, and itch.
- Eczema or dermatitis — This is a condition caused by inflammation of the skin and its severity can range from just some mild itching on your hands to severe blisters. Eczema can flare up as a result of stress, allergies, or irritation due to certain fabrics and soaps/detergents.
- Allergies — Common allergens, such as metals, soaps, disinfectants, dust, soil, perfume, and latex (source: Medical News Today) can cause an allergic reaction like the itching of the skin, including hands.
- Psoriasis — This is an autoimmune condition where the skin experiences uncontrolled cell growth, leading to scaling of the skin. Psoriasis can develop on your hands, feet, scalp, neck and face. (source: Healthline)
- Diabetes — Less common, but itchy hands can also be caused by poor circulation due to diabetes.
So if your hands are itching all the time, and especially if it’s accompanied by other visual changes in your skin, then you should contact your doctor or dermatologist to make sure you aren’t experiencing one of these conditions.
For more information, check out the U.S. Dermatology Partners website for more information.
What is the superstitious meaning if your left palm itches?
Now that we’ve covered the serious, medical reasons for itchy palms, let’s dive into the superstitious side of things.
If your left hand itches, then this could actually be a good sign! If you believe in signs, that is…
A common superstition is that when your left hand is itching, this means that money is coming to you soon!
This could mean that maybe you’ll come across some money in the street, or receive a forgotten inheritance, or even win big in the lottery!
The trouble with superstitions, however, is that because they’ve existed for so long, they seem to change with each telling.
Some people believe that your left hand itching is actually a bad sign and that you’ll soon lose money or experience financial problems. And instead, the right hand itching is a sign that you’ll receive money and wealth.
So, whether it’s the left or right hand that is a sign of good fortune entirely depends on whom you ask and what you choose to believe.
Because I’m left-handed, I don’t prescribe to all those left hand haters who want to give the left hand a bad name. And trust me, they’re out there! Even my boyfriend jokingly calls me “a child of the devil” because of my left-handedness.
So instead, I choose to side with those who believe an itchy left palm is a sign of good financial fortune to come.
Ultimately I’d say, whichever hand is your “fortunate” hand is yours to determine. If you’re clumsy with one, make your lucky hand the other.
Regardless, look out for any itchy palms and hopefully it’ll bring with it a bit of good luck!
Where do these beliefs about an itchy left hand or right hand come from?
It’s generally believed that superstitions around itchy palms and money originated with the Saxons.
The Saxons, a Germanic tribe that went on to establish the kingdom of England along with the Angles, believed that rubbing your skin on silver would cure diseases. As a result, they started rubbing silver whenever their hands itched. This led to the belief that itchy hands meant silver was coming your way.
Specifically, the belief that the left hand itching means you’ll receive good fortune, originates in palm reading. Often attributed to the fortune-telling tradition of Roma (Gypsies), palm readers believe that the left hand is receptive and the right is active. So your left receives money, while your right hand loses or gives away money.
However, in Christianity the right hand is your receiving hand. As well, it has significant spiritual meaning and is a symbol of good fortune.
In Isaiah 41:13, for example, it says: “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’”
This is often interpreted to mean that you should open your right hand in order to receive God’s blessing. Therefore, the right hand receives and the left one gives.
Has anyone actually received money after having an itchy left or right hand?
Like all superstitions, it’s your choice whether or not you believe in them.
But the fact is:
Many superstitions arise from genuine personal experiences, that are attributed to something else (an itchy hand, a penny on the street, a black cat appearing), and then shared and passed down for generations.
And it may come as a surprise, but:
There are people who’ve won money after having an itchy left hand!
One example was in 2010, when a Brooklyn grandmother named Mary Shammas was riding the bus and experiencing an itchy left palm.
Knowing of the superstition surrounding this, Shammas got off the bus and immediately bought a Mega Millions lottery ticket.
Well, lo and behold, Mary Shammas ended up winning $64 million with that ticket!
More recently in 2018, yet another itchy left hand led to a big lottery win.
Jacquatte Prater, from Flint, Michigan, said her hand started itching her about a month before she finally decided to listen to the “sign” and buy a Mega Millions lottery ticket.
Prater won a nice $2 million dollars from her lottery ticket, or if you’re willing to believe, from that itchy hand!
What are other common superstitious beliefs about money?
Now that you’re familiar with the belief that an itchy left hand means “you’re coming into money”, you might be wondering: what other superstitions exist about money?
As it turns out, there are quite a few!
Some of these might be entirely new to you, or maybe you’re already familiar with them.
When I was a kid, I was a strong believer in picking pennies up off the ground, but only if they were heads up! Although in reality it probably made no difference, it was still nice to feel that little bit of positivity and good fortune coming from the universe.
So take a look at these 7 common superstitions surrounding money, and see which ones you believe (or used to believe) in!
1. An itchy palm signifies greed.
Slightly different to our optimistic take on the itchy left hand, itchy palms are also seen as a sign of greed.
Dictionary.com explains how this is now a popular expression, originating from late the 1500s. If an elected official is accepting money “under the table”, you might say: The local politician has an itchy palm.
2. Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck!
It’s hard to determine where this correlation between pennies and good luck originates.
However, we do know that cultures and civilizations dating back thousands of years believed that metals were thought to protect you from evil spirits. They were seen as “gifts from gods”, and of course metals were later used to create currencies.
Nowadays, that penny is just a lucky sign and, hey, free money!
3. Only pick up a heads up penny, otherwise it’s bad luck.
The belief here is that the two sides of a penny symbolize good and evil. The heads side is “good” and lucky, while tails is “evil” or unlucky.
Therefore, if you see a penny laying on the ground, don’t pick it up if it’s tails up. All day long you’ll have BAD luck!
4. Hairy arms mean you’re going to be rich.
Okay, so this is a bit of a strange one. For all the literature nerds out there though, you may recognize this superstitious belief from somewhere…
In Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jim tells Huck:
“If you’ve got hairy arms and a hairy chest, it’s a sign that you’re going to be rich” (Chapter 8).
Might not be the most glamorous look, but hey, money is money!
5. Don’t put your purse on the floor, or money will go out the door.
Originating from an ancient Chinese proverb, putting your purse on the floor is not only a bad omen but also bad feng-shui!
In feng-shui, the floor is associated with lowliness or disrespect. So if you place your purse on the ground, you’re disrespecting it and your money. Not a good move!
6. A bird pooping on your head means you’re headed for wealth.
I don’t know about you, but every time I walk through a flock of pigeons and they take flight, I first envision myself in a John Woo action film…then almost immediately worry that I’ll get pooped on. True story.
But, maybe I shouldn’t be afraid of some bird droppings. Because as it turns out, this is actually believed by some to be a good sign! Who would’ve thought?
7. A spider in your pocket will bring you cash.
Spiders spin webs in order to catch their prey, and in this way, they determine their own prosperity.
So it’s believed that if a spider crawls into your pocket or purse, it could also bring prosperity to you!
However, I, like millions of others, am completely terrified of spiders. If I see the tiniest one in the corner of the room, I freak out and ask my boyfriend to get rid of it.
So, I personally would rather be out the cash than have spiders anywhere near my pockets or purse. But maybe you’re a bit more rational about spiders than me!
So, if your left hand itches, what should you do?
Well, if your left hand itches and you’ve ruled out any and all skin conditions, take it as a sign!
The world would be pretty dull if we didn’t carry around a few superstitious beliefs with us. In my opinion, they turn a very serious, and at times brutally rational, world a bit more fun.
So who knows?
If you’ve got that itchy left hand, maybe buy a cheap lottery ticket!
Or, if that’s not your “fortunate” hand, then make sure you have that rainy day fund ready to go.
Basically, take it to mean what you’d like it to, and keep up the hope that financial fortunes are coming your way!
And lastly, a sure-fire way to ensure you’re not broke by payday is to have my 75 Easy Frugal Hacks Cheatsheet by your side. Download it to your phone so you’re sticking to a frugal lifestyle and saving more money!