In reply to:

I thought there might be an etymological connection between "left" and "levo", but my dictionary does not confirm this.I think a better dictionary might.

I would guess you are correct- Levo is "left" in Slovene. Slovenija is a Slavic nation which was once deep in the Roman Empire (the upper right-hand corner of Italy including Trieste (Trst) was a part of Slovenija until the mid 20th century), and a living etymological museum. The Latin "sum" lives on as "sem", in some dialects even closer, the ancient "we two", lost in every other Indo-European language, is still in daily use, etc. As you move further away from the center of the Roman world, the sound shifts and such get busy, "levo" is already "ljevo" in neighboring Croatia.

The question of word origins is unfortunately often politically tainted, but linguists should at least be able to suggest the idea of a common origin without raising too many hackles. (Good luck! )

Just googled this one, and no surprise-

Destrer, Dextrer
[OF. destrier, fr. L. dextra on the right side. The squire led his master's horse beside him, on his right hand. Skeat.]

Slovene- desno, right, right-hand side, etc.

Dex- Des is hardly a far-fetched sound shift, but I can't think of any examples in English. Anyone?


PS. If you're into European traveling, languages, cultures that have retained their language against all odds, and nice people, not to mention good drinking, Slovenija is up there with Ireland and Wales.