Cack handed means left handed but has also come to mean clumsy or awkward simply because left handed people appear so, to right handed people. Cack on its own, however, is a fine old English word for excrement dating from the 15th century, originally from the Latin cacare to defecate, resulting in many similar Indo-European language variations where the Latin c is substituted by k (as in the Dutch kakken to defecate). Next, we are told that the left hand was usually the hand used for cleaning oneself after defecating. Therefore, it became known as the cack hand. All this makes admirable sense until one learns that the first citation for cack handed only dates from the mid-19th century. Something smells here and it is not just the cack. Although there is no denying the etymology of cack as excrement, dating from the 15th century, a more likely explanation for cack handed is that it derives from Northern English dialect where ceck or keck simply means awkward or clumsy.