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I can write with both my hands so I am ambidextrous. But it means adept and deft in using both the hands equally. So if someone was exhibiting their skill of ambidexterity by writing something with both their hands simultaneously, what would this piece of action be called? Is there a word for it?

I need the word that means simultaneously using both the hands, for writing or whatever.

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    ambidextering? Google comes up with only three hits though, including this beauty: "Don't give me that though, you were ambidextering it up like a bad ass."
    – Mou某
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 12:26
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    Everything I can find about this through Google seems to be about the Chinese woman Chen Siyuan (that I added a link to in the question), so there obviously aren't many examples. I seriously doubt there's a word for it. Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 12:26
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    +1 because I'm interested in applying the same word to the rumored talent of US President James A. Garfield of "simultaneously [writing] Latin with his right hand and Greek with his left."
    – user39720
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 15:58
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    It is referred to as 'bimanual simultaneous handwriting' in research studies
    – Third News
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 17:29
  • But wouldn't ambilevous dancing suggest clumsiness with both feet at the same time?
    – bib
    Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 17:58

12 Answers 12

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I need the word that means simultaneously using both the hands, for writing or whatever.

Actions involving both hands simultaneously are called bimanual. Playing a piano is an example of bimanual activity. Others would be tying shoes, clapping hands, etc. As @ Third News commented above, researchers use the term bimanual simultaneous handwriting, but I wouldn't expect that to be in common parlance. The problem with seeking a single word for an obscure condition or rare phenonmenon is that even if if you find one, it is likely to be of little use since no one would understand it without the definition being provided. Still, how would you know if you don't ask.

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    One might consider many if not most instances of writing to be bimanual on this definition, since the other hand is used to hold and move the paper (writing on chalkboards, whiteboards, etc., would be obvious exceptions--and interestingly ones where legibility tends to be compromised, at least without practice).
    – Merk
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 1:13
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    @ Merk -I agree, insofar as two hands may be at times employed in writing activity. Bimanual certainly is a broader term than the OP is seeking.
    – GMB
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 3:32
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There are clever and high-falutin' ways to convey the idea of writing with both hands simultaneously but employing the K.I.S.S. approach - Keep It Simple, Stupid! :-), why not just say that "he/she wrote with both hands simultaneously"?

To me, it is obvious that someone who is writing with both hands, simultaneously or alternatively, is ambidextrous so that word isn't really needed, is it?

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Synamphichiry would be properly formed from Greek, meaning something like "using both hands together at the same time" (syn- expressing "together at the same time").

Amphichirography would mean "writing with both hands".

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    Are these neologisms?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 15:38
  • @Mitch: Yes, of course. Greek did not have such weird words, nor does any other language. Hence the conditional. Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 15:41
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    You should explain that in your answer because it is an important distinction between an accepted dictionary word, an informally recognized but informally acceptable one, and a totally new creation.
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 15:48
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    @Mitch Perhaps so, but we in English have always been allowed to create new words out of Latin and Greek combining forms. That’s why the OED has such an extremely high number of hyphenated combining forms in it, like amphi- or -graphy. Those are just as available as bi- and -manual would be to create bimanual. Admittedly, those who know the Greek combining forms are fewer than those who know the Latin ones, but one should never let that stop you. Whether you prefer many-hued, multi-colored, or polychromatic, you can always do things like this.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 22:10
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I don't think a single word exists but some people afflicted by Kallman syndrome are affected by a condition called bimanual synkinesis in which the movements of one hand are mirrored by the other hand. So, analogously, I would use "bimanual writing", using bimanual as an adjective or an adverb, i.e., "He's bimanualy writing".

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If:

  1. you are using a cell phone
  2. you are using the thumb of both hands

then it is called texting.

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One type of simultaneous right- and left-hand writing is called "writing in mirror images" or, more simply, "simultaneous mirror-writing." You can see a YouTube video of a woman performing this two-handed feat here.

For a fairly long article on simultaneous and nonsimultaneous mirror-writing (mostly the latter), see Robert D. McIntosh and Sergio Della Sala, "Mirror-writing" (October 2012), posted on the British Psychological Society's The Psychologist website. The part of that article most relevant to simultaneous writing is this excerpt:

Could deliberate mirror-writing offer insight into the nature of involuntary mirror-writing in brain-damaged adults?

We have recently had the chance to address this issue with Kasimir Bordihn (KB), a German artist, who has practised various forms of mirror-writing for more than 50 years. KB is a natural left-hander, schooled to write with the right hand, who ‘discovered’ mirror-writing aged nine, finding that he could halve his time writing lines by writing forward with his right hand and simultaneously backward with his left. He later practised and extended this technique, writing forward or backward with either hand, including vertical as well as horizontal flips, and incorporating these into a distinctive ‘mirror-art’ (see cover). We have begun a case study of KB’s abilities, which is providing clear support for the motor hypothesis of mirror-writing, and some less expected results.

Undoubtedly, when KB simultaneously writes the same words forward with one hand and backward with the other, he is engaged in simultaneous mirror-writing. But I'm not sure what you'd call his simultaneously writing half a line left-to-right with his right hand and writing the other half of the line right-to-left with his left hand. The article doesn't identify that skill by name.

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Wonderful and creative question.

I remember the Rector at our Boys Home saying something similar:

Michelangelo was ambidextrous and often painted bimanually. The least we can do is to be two-handed in prayer. Manibus sedeas, Amen.

Bottom line is, IMHO, I believe we can use two-handed or bimanually.

PS: I just up-voted GMB's answer for originality and application of mind. It was GMB's answer that reminded me of this.

PS2: Our guidance counselor uses the term "bihemispherical activity" to indicate usage of both sides of the brain simultaneously. Not sure if this is a common term, though.

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Ambitexterity. I just needed the concept myself and this is what came up.

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    See this comment as to why this answer is misleading.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 7:47
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    @Mari-LouA, this answer is suggesting a neologism (ambiTexterity) rather than the standard word (ambiDexterity) referenced in your linked comment. (Took me a second read to notice the difference myself; it's too easily mistaken for the other word for me to think it's a decent coinage to make use of.)
    – Hellion
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 14:29
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A word for writing with both hands is ambidextrous and you are only 1 percent (of people?). Basically, if someone writes equally well with both hands, you may call them ambidextrous.

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    This has already been given as an answer and is incorrect. Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 7:50
  • HEY @KillingTime!
    – Kano
    Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 6:17
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I do not have enough reputation to comment, but you can always use the adverb ambidextrously plus the verb you need. For examples, you can go here: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/ambidextrous?q=ambidextrously#ambidextrous__10

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    Nah. Few people (if any) would understand write ambidextrously to mean write using both hands at the same time. Commented Jun 28, 2014 at 13:50
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It is called writing. Writing does not imply using one hand or two hands. You can write in different ways so if you are using two or one hands it is still writing which is the act of enscribing information onto a medium. There are no rules for how the writing gets on the page.

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  • I didn't -1 this as it made me laugh, but this is somewhat facetious :P
    – 568ml
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 18:35
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Ambidextrous is the word for a person who can use both hands.

Wiki : Ambidexterity is the state of being equally adept in the use of both left and right appendages (such as the hands).

One can say, he is an expert in ambidexterity.

You can say, I am writing ambidextrously.

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