Lewis & Short

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scaevus, a, um, adj. [kindred with Sanscr. savya, laevus, sinister, as the Gr. σκαιός and the Germ. schief, oblique], left, that is on the left, towards the left side (rare; most freq. in Appul.; syn. laevus, sinister).

  1. I. Lit.: itinera portarum, i. e. running from right to left, Vitr. 1, 5, 2: iter, Serv. Verg. A. 3, 351.
  2. II. Trop.
    1. A. Awkward, perverse, stupid, silly: scaevus profecto et caecus animi forem, si, etc., Gell. 12, 13, 4: mulier, App. M. 9, p. 223, 22: scaevus iste Romulus, Sall. H. Fragm. 1, 41, 5 Dietsch: fabula, Paul. Nol. Carm. 11, 44.
    2. B. Of fortune, unfavorable, untoward, unlucky: fortunam scaevam an saevam verius dixerim, App. M. 2, p. 120, 21: praesagium, id. ib. 10, p. 247; 7, p. 194, 39.
      Sup.: scaevissimum somnium, App. M. 4, p. 154, 23.
      Hence, subst.: scaeva, ae, f., a sign or token in the sky (observed by a Roman on his left; v. laevus), an omen: bonae scaevae causă … Ea dicta ab scaevā id est sinistră, quod quae sinistra sunt, bona auspicia existimantur … a Graeco est, quod hi sinistram vocant σκαιάν, Varr. L. L. 7, § 97 Müll.; cf. Fest. p. 325 ib.: bona scaeva est mihi, Plaut. Ps. 4, 7, 39; so, bona, id. Stich. 5, 2, 24: canina scaeva, taken from the barking of a dog, id. Cas. 5, 4, 4.