Flirtation Codes of the early 20th Century

What a chore flirtation must have been back then if you had to memorize all these codes.

Philadelphia Inquirer - Oct 8, 1916

     Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 16, 2022
     Category: Languages | 1910s | Love & Romance

It's interesting how many times/ways that left is negative.

It's my understanding these were all rather passé by WWI. They were at their height in mid to late Victorian era, particularly in southern England. You more or less had to be raised in the culture rather than having to memorize all the rules when you turned fourteen.

This article was probably a bit of a nostalgia piece, harkening back to simpler times in the midst of a world war.
Posted by Phideaux on 01/16/22 at 10:35 AM
The old definition of "left" from Latin is "sinister" and it has been used to describe people of left handedness. It comes from the root base of many Euro-Indian languages. I like to think of myself as having those tendencies as a left handed dominant person.
Posted by KDP on 01/17/22 at 08:34 AM
Handkerchief flirtation means a very different thing these days...
Posted by Richard Bos on 01/17/22 at 11:02 AM
And "dexter" is Latin for "right". It seems like the dexter/sinister wording would have been associated with sports, where lefties can be difficult to cope with.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 01/18/22 at 10:08 AM
Seems like there’s a lot of room here for misinterpretation. Some poor woman just fussing with her hat, gloves or parasol suddenly gets hit on.
Posted by Brian on 01/18/22 at 11:30 AM
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