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Language of the Victorian Fan


In the past, hand fans were used not only as cooling instruments, but also as convenient communication devices, mainly for transmitting more or less furtive love messages.  For example, by running ones fingers through the fan's ribs, one is trying to say "I want to talk to you".  Or by quickly fanning one self, one is trying to say "I love you very much".  The language of fan was widely used by women and men as a means of communication. 

 

If planning an outdoor wedding during warm weather, consider giving your guests personalized favor fans.  Or for your wedding party, a pressed flower hand fan may provide a decorative element to their attire while providing some relief from the heat at the same time.  Consider printing out a summary of the "Language of Victorian Fan" (below) and including that as an insert for some Victorian trivia for guests and children.

 


THE FAN PLACED NEAR THE HEART: "You have won my love."

HALF-OPENED FAN PRESSED TO THE LIPS: "You may kiss me."

HANDS CLASPED TOGETHER HOLDING AN OPEN FAN: "Forgive me."

HIDING THE EYES BEHIND AN OPEN FAN: "I love you."

SHUTTING A FULLY OPENED FAN SLOWLY: "I promise to marry you."

DRAWING THE FAN ACROSS THE EYES: "I am sorry."

TOUCHING THE FINGER TO THE TIP OF THE FAN: "I wish to speak with you."

LETTING THE FAN REST ON THE RIGHT CHEEK: "Yes."

LETTING THE FAN REST ON THE LEFT CHEEK: "NO."

OPENING AND CLOSING THE FAN SEVERAL TIMES: "You are cruel"

FANNING SLOWLY: "I am married."

FANNING QUICKLY: "I am engaged." "I am engaged."

OPENING A FAN WIDE: "Wait for me."

TWIRLING THE FAN IN THE LEFT HAND: "We are being watched."

TWIRLING THE FAN IN THE RIGHT HAND: "I love another."

PRESENTING THE FAN SHUT: "Do you love me?"

 
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