This may be accomplished by communicating a sense of playfulness or irony.Double entendres, with one meaning more formally appropriate and another more suggestive, may be used.She wrote of the Americans, "The boy learns to make advances and rely upon the girl to repulse them whenever they are inappropriate to the state of feeling between the pair", as contrasted to the British, where "the girl is reared to depend upon a slight barrier of chilliness...which the boys learn to respect, and for the rest to rely upon the men to approach or advance, as warranted by the situation." This resulted, for example, in British women interpreting an American soldier's gregariousness as something more intimate or serious than he had intended.
The use of the fan was not limited to women, as men also carried fans and learned how to convey messages with them.While old-fashioned, this expression is still used in French, often mockingly, but the English gallicism to flirt has made its way and has now become an anglicism.During World War II, anthropologist Margaret Mead was working in Britain for the British Ministry of Information and later for the U. Office of War Information, She observed in the flirtations between the American soldiers and British women a pattern of misunderstandings regarding who is supposed to take which initiative.For instance, placing the fan near the heart meant "I love you", while opening a fan wide meant "Wait for me".
In Spain, where the use of fans (called "abanicos") is still very popular in modern times, ladies used them to communicate with suitors or prospective suitors without their family or chaperon finding out.Flirting or coquetry is a social and rarely sexual activity involving verbal or written communication as well as body language by one person to another, either to suggest interest in a deeper relationship with the other person, or if done playfully, for amusement.