Monday, 16 January 2012


The following gem of a list — variations of which circulated in a number of publications at the back-end of the 1800s — was printed in 1891 in the Taranaki Herald, a newspaper once published in New Plymouth, New Zealand. It's a brief, 13-point guide to the mysterious art of "Eye Flirtation."

Transcript follows. Image courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.


Winking the right eye—I love you.
Winking the left eye—I hate you.
Winking both eyes—Yes.
Winking both eyes at once—We are watched.
Winking right eye twice—I am engaged.
Winking left eye twice—I am married.
Dropping the eyelids—May I kiss you?
Raising the eyebrows—Kiss me.
Closing the left eye slowly—Try and love me.
Closing the right eye slowly—You are beautiful.
Placing right forefinger to right eye—Do you love me?
Placing right forefinger to left eye—You are handsome
Placing right little finger to the right eye—Aren't you ashamed?