Two Left Feet

An idiom in use since around 1915.

Meaning of Two Left Feet

To have two left feet is to be clumsy or awkward, especially in regards to one’s feet. This idiom is usually used to refer to a person’s inability to dance well.

Examples Of Use

“There is no way you’re gonna catch me dancing. I have two left feet!”

“I wanted to be in a play but it required dancing and I have two left feet.”


This idiom reminds of the many myths about the left side, including that getting up on the left side of the bed invites bad luck, and such expressions as “a left-handed compliment.” The left side of the body has long been associated with not only awkwardness but evil. However, in this idiom, we can see a practical origin, even if it does include this general prohibition against the left.

There is no dependable correlation between right-handedness and right footedness but most people have traditionally assumed that to be right-footed is more the usual arrangement. So, a person with two left feet would be a person with two awkward, non-dominant feet. Even without having one dominant side, if both your feet were left feet, you would be a bit awkward, as your feet would not be symmetrical, causing you to be imbalanced and to stumble. This idiom could reflect any of these origins or all of them.

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