We tend to think of the Victorian era as being stuffy, hoity-toity and prudish.
This silent flirtation was used by both men and women- a unisex thing.
A code that could be used when 'ears' were present -like maids, servants, nannies - when you wanted to communicate with your beau (or beau-ess).
The Handkerchief Code
Twirling it in the right hand—I love someone else.
Drawing it across the forehead—People are watching us..
Over the shoulder—Follow me.
Opposite corners in both hands—Wait for me.
Placing it on the right ear—You have changed.
Letting it remain on the eyes—You are cruel.
Winding around the forefinger—I am engaged.
Winding around the third finger—I am married.
Putting it in the pocket—I am done with this.
How exciting this must have been. Think of the excitement and secret-ness of the first flush of love. I am guessing this code would have been for the upper classes.
See Part 1
See how they used postage stamps
for the same kind of thing.
# Victorian Etiquette