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Secret Languages of the Hand-fan that you possibly do not know you are using

We are at home with the idea of Hand-fans as beautiful and practical objects, which one can carry on a warm day.

However, we wish also to disclose to you that they are the means to a secret language that has been largely forgotten with time.


According to history, the first semiofficial gestural fan language was written by a Spanish man known as Fenella. But not long after it was invented, the Parisian fan-maker Duvelleroy, whose finery-filled shop is still in business, translated this work into English, and distributed the information on individual cards. The use of this so-called “Secret Language of the Fan” varied from country to country, but today, many of Fenella’s original instructions are still circulated in print.

The following are their compilations and what they mean.


1) “Come talk to me”

= Carry fan in left hand


2) “I wish to speak to you”

= Touch tip of fan with finger


3) “Do not betray our secret”

= Covering left ear with open fan


4) “Follow me”

= Carry fan in right hand in front of face


5) “We are being watched”

= Twirl fan in left hand


6) “I am married”

= Fan slowly


7) “I am engaged”

= Fan quickly


8) “I am sorry”

= Draw fan across eye


9) “You have changed”

= Draw fan across forehead


10) “I hate you”

= Draw fan through hand


11) “You have won my love”

= Hold shut fan to the heart


12) “Do you love me?”

= Present fan shut


13) “I love you”

= Draw fan across cheek


14) “I love another”

= Twirl fan in right hand


15) “You are cruel”

= Open and shut fan


16) “Yes”

= Rest fan on right cheek


17) “No”

= Rest fan on left cheek


18) “Kiss me”

= Hold fan handle to lips

NOTE: I believe you must have been surprised by this new knowledge, especially knowing that you do some of these things before now. So when next you use any of these signs, make sure you are conscious of what you are saying, and you really meant to say them.


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Duvelleroy English Fenella Parisian Secret Language of

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