A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Paid my bills for the month. Anyone have any good recipes for water?” (12/6)
“Knock, knock.” / “Who’s there?” / “Diploma.” (12/6)
“Once I got a job, I realized mom was right. We do have food at home” (12/6)
“Once I started spending my own money, I realized mom was right. We do have food at home” (12/6)
Entry forthcoming (12/6)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from November 07, 2017
“Righty tighty, lefty loosey” (screw/unscrew)

A popular meme for how to screw and unscrew (nuts, screws, jars, et al.) is:

“Righty, tighty. Lefty, loosey.”

The rhyme has been cited in print since at least 1977. “Clockwise close” is a similar meme.

“‘Righty tighty, lefty loosey’ isn’t a statement about females and politics” is a political joke on the meme.


10 April 1977, Sunday World-Herald (Omaha, NE), “Oil Change a Success for Amateur Mechanics” by Charlotte Slater (UPS), pg. 3-E, col. 3:
“Which way do you twist?” he tested us.

The answer was spontaneous.

“Lefty-loosey, righty-tighty. Twist it to the left.”

21 April 1986, Huntsville (AL) Times, “Heloise” (syndicated advice column), pg. B-8, col. 6:
DEAR HELOISE:
Several years ago my son Jeff made up a little rhyme to help us remember which way to turn the jar lid:

“Lefty, loosey,
Righty, tighty.”

It works great for things like jar lids, caps, nuts, screw, etc.—Kathy Doyle

Google Books
Creative Serging Illustrated:
The Complete Handbook for Decorative Overlock Sewing

By Pati Palmer
Radnor, PA: Chilton Book Company
1987
Pg. 38:
Gail’s favorite way of remembering which way to turn the dial is a saying: “RIGHTY, TIGHTY and LEFTY, LOOSEY”. Silly as it sounds, you won’t forget it.

Google Books
The Student’s Memory Book
By Bill Adler, Jr.
New York, NY: Doubleday
1988
Pg. 39:
Finally, how to turn a screw: Righty tighty, Lefty loosey.

22 July 1989, Toronto (ON) Star, “Diary of a rookie: Professional driving future a slip of paper away” by Mike Corcoran, pg. H6, col. 1:
Mike Corcoran Special to The Star. Toronto Star; Toronto, Ont. [Toronto, Ont]22 July 1989: H6.
(1/4 turn with a slot screwdriver, righty tighty, lefty loosey).

ISUZU OIL PLUG WON’T COME OFF
Weekend All Things Considered; Washington, D.C. : 1. Washington, D.C.: NPR. (Nov 4, 1990)
4 November 1990, Weekend All Things Considered (NPR), “Isuzu Oil Plus Won’t Come Off”:
T. MAGLIOZZI: Well, it is not a left-hand thread; it is regular conventional right-hand thread. As we say in the trade, `Righty, tighty; lefty, loosey.’ So--isn’t that what it is?

Urban Dictionary
righty tighty lefty loosy
Refers to threads on a screw, nut, bolt, etc. To tighten, you turn to the right (clockwise). To loosen, you turn toward the left (counter clockwise). A few exceptions exist, notably old propane cylinders and some pipe fittings.
“How do I get this screw out?”
“Righty tighty lefty loosy!”

#bolts#threads#screws#rightie#tightie#leftie#loosie
by Okie Dokie December 08, 2005

Reddit—No Stupid Questions
Is “lefty loosey, tighty righty” a universal saying or a United States thing?
submitted May 12, 2014 by Samjerkface
I’m unable to Google currently. Please help.
Edit: I get it “righty tighty” I messed up. Thanks.
COMMENTS
BananaBork
I am British and I have heard and used this phrase (except it is “lefty loosey, righty tighty” because that order makes much more sense).

YouTube
Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey
Jason Slater
Published on Sep 22, 2014
When I was confused by the aphorism “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey,” my father taught me the phrase, “Time is always tight.” Learn why the linear idea of right and left makes no sense when dealing with a screw that turns in a circle. A better way to think about which way to turn a bolt is clockwise or counter-clockwise.

OCLC WorldCat record
Fred Flintstone’s adventures with screws : righty-tighty, lefty-loosey
Author: Mark Weakland; Loic Billiau
Publisher: North Mankato, Minnesota : Capstone Press, a Capstone imprint, 2016. ©2016
Edition/Format: Print book : Juvenile audience : English
Summary:
“Popular cartoon character Fred Flintstone explains how screws work and how he uses simple machines in his daily life"--
Subjects
Screws—Juvenile literature.
Simple machines—Juvenile literature.
Screws.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • Tuesday, November 07, 2017 • Permalink