Thursday, April 12, 2012

FYI: Spain: The Language of Fans

Originally post on

Since we are learning about Spain this week in English Club, this "language of the fan" looked interesting and thought we would share with you.

When 19th century Spanish ladies went dancing, they were always accompanied by their mothers or another adult lady, called "the Chaperona" (Shah-peh-roh-nah), to watch her behavior. They were very zealous so, the young girls invented a way to communicate with the boys without being noticed by them. They used their fans in different ways to convey their messages. It is said that:
  • Carrying it closed and hanging from her left hand: I want to have a boyfriend
  • Carrying it closed and hanging from her right hand : I'm engaged
  • Fanning very rapidly: I have doubts about you
  • Closing it very fast: Talk with my father
  • Resting it closed over her heart: I love you dearly
  • Resting it closed over her forehead: I am ignoring you
  • Putting away the fan closed: I'm not going out today
  • Taking it out of her purse: I'll be out today
  • Resting it open over her lips: Don't doubt about me
  • Resting it open over her heart: I want to get married
  • Giving the fan to the boyfriend: My heart belongs only to you
  • Taking the fan from her boyfriend: I don't want anything else from you
  • Covering part of her face with the open fan: We have finished
  • Dropping down the fan: I'm suffering, but I love you.
  • Hitting her left hand with the fan: I like you
  • Looking outside: I'm considering if it is good for me
  • Hitting her right hand with the fan: I hate you
  • Hitting her dress with the fan: I'm jealous
  • Resting it closed on her left cheek: I'm all yours
  • Resting it closed on her right cheek: Be careful, my family is watching
  • Doing as if she is counting the fan's blades: I want to talk with you
  • Playing with the fan: I'm in a hurry.
  • Having it open, hanging upside down: Without your love, I prefer to die