'Left/Right' equivalent of upside down?

  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    No, there is no specific expression. But in the material world it's impossible to turn a thing from left to right without, at the same time turning it either inside out (a hollow object) or upside down or back to front (a solid object).

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I don't know, Keith. You wouldn't be turning a cube inside out or upside down if you merely turned it ninety degrees to the left or the right. This could cause it to be the wrong way round for your purposes, but like you and The Prof, I don't know of a more specific expression.



    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    If you're referring, for example, to a photograph that was printed with left and right reversed*, you might say "flipped horizontally." That term is also common in computer graphics applications.

    *Not as common today as it was in the days of film, when this happened if the person printing a photo turned the negative over by mistake.

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hello beaumec, and Welcome to the Forum! :)
    Can you give us an example of the kind of usage you had in mind? The correct selection will depend on the context in question, the frame of reference, etc.
    For example, in outer space, there's no such thing as 'upside down', or so I'm told. :)


    New Member
    thank you for all your explanations! in chinese language,we often say phrases about reverse,such as,up and down reversed,in and out reversed,left and right reversed,back and front reversed, in English,ican only find upside down for up and down reversed,back to front for front and back reversed,upside down for in and out reversed.i couldnt find another proper expression for left and right reversed.the other day,iwas looking myself in the mirror in an elevator, iasked myself how to say the image was left right reversed.,and icouldnt find a very proper way to express it.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    you might say "flipped horizontally." That term is also common in computer graphics applications.
    I was looking at myself in the mirror in an elevator, and I asked myself how to say the image was left-right reversed.
    A computer image and a mirror image are true two-dimensional "objects" and I doubt that early speakers developing the language really considered that possibility or gave much importance to it. For a three-dimensional object, I think this transformation will always result in some other change which the language would seem to consider more important. If you horizontally flip a computer image, you are still looking at a computer image which someone may not even be able to tell has been flipped (unless there's writing or some other clue). If you print that image on paper and then horizontally flip it, you are looking at the blank side of the paper. It is much more important that you have turned it back-to-front (wrong-way-round) than that the left and right sides have been exchanged.
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