The 1860's Lady

The first version is European and was dated back to the 18th century and went through to the early 19th century.


If a lady appears at the balcony, slowly fanning her face, then she shuts the balcony.  This means 'I can't go out'.

If she does it excitedly, not shutting the balcony: 'I'll go out soon'.

Resting the fan on her lips:  'I don't trust you'.

Fanning herself with her left hand:  'Don't flirt with that woman'.

Running her fingers through the ribs:  'I want to talk to you'.

Fanning herself slowly:  'Don't waste your time, I don't care about you'.

Fanning herself quickly:  'I love you so much'.

Moving her hair away from her forehead:  'Don't forget me'.

Passing the fan from hand to hand:  'I see that you are looking at another woman'.

Hitting her hand's palm:  'Love me'.

Carrying the fan closed and hanging from her left hand:  'I'm engaged'.

Carrying the fan closed and hanging from her right hand:  'I want to be engaged'.

Closing the fan quickly and impetuously:  'I'm jealous'.

Dropping the fan:  'I belong to you'.

Resting the fan on her heart:  'My love for you makes me suffer'.

Half-opened the fan over her face:  'We are being watched over'.

Hitting any object:  'I'm impatient'.

Hiding the sunlight:  'You're ugly'.

Looking closely at the painting:  'I like you".


However...In 1877 the "language" changed - this was found in an old book by Daniel R. Shafer titled "Secrets of Life Unveiled".


Carrying in the right hand:  'You are too willing'.

Carrying in the left hand:  'Desirous of an acquaintance'.

Carrying in your right hand in front of your face:  'Follow me'.

Letting it rest on the right cheek:  'Yes'.

Letting it rest on the left cheek:  'No'.

Placing it on the right ear:  'You have changed'.

With the handle on to the lips:  'Kiss me'.

Twirling it on the left hand:  'I love another'.

Closing it:  'I wish to speak with you'.

Dropping it:  'We will be friends'.

Open and shut:  'You are cruel'.

Open wide:  'Wait for me'.

Shut:  'I have changed'.

Fanning fast:  'I am engaged'.

Fanning slow:  'I am married'.

Drawing across the forehead:  'We are watched'.

Drawing across the eyes:  'I am sorry'.

Drawing through the hand:  'I hate you'.

Drawing across the cheek:  'I love you'.


And if you aren't already confused enough...yep, you guessed it - one more change in the 'rule book'.


A closed fan dangling from the left hand - Iím engaged.

A closed fan dangling from the right hand means "I want to be engaged".

Fanning very slowly - I am married.

Dropping the fan to the floor - I belong to you alone.

Quickly fanning oneself - I love you so very much.

Hiding one's eyes behind the fan - I love you.

Placing the fan behind the head - "Do not forget me"

Placing the fan behind the head with finger extended - "Goodbye."

Moving the fan back and forth between hands - Iíve seen you look at another.

Fanning with the left hand - "Donít you dare flirt with another woman!"

Fan held over left ear - "I wish to get rid of you."

Closing the fan quickly - I am jealous.

Placing the fan over one's heart - My heart is breaking with love for you.

Closely examining a decorated fan - I like you.

Abrupt, threatening gestures with a closed fan - Do not be careless or hasty.

Touching the fan to the right cheek - Yes.

Touching the fan to the left cheek - No.

Covering the left ear with an open fan - Donít betray our trust or our secret.

Opening the fan as fully as possible - Please, wait for me.

The fan in the right hand, placed in front of the face - Follow me.

Spinning the fan in the left hand - We are being watched.

Slowly pulling a fan across one's eyes - Iím sorry.

Opening and closing the fan very quickly - You are mean.

Placing the fan handle to the lips or a half-opened fan pressed to the mouth - Kiss me.

Gently touching one finger to the edge of the fan - I need to speak to you.

Closing an open fan very slowly - I promise to marry you.

Carrying the open fan in the right hand - "You are too willing."

Carrying the open fan in the left hand - "Come and talk to me."

A closed fan touching the right eye - "When may I be allowed to see you?"

The number of sticks shown answered the question - "At what hour?"

Hands clasped together holding an open fan - "Forgive me."

Half-opened fan pressed to lips - "You may kiss me."





If you'd like to know more about the fan used in the header, click on the small pic above.