The language of the Parasol


Feb 20, 2005
The Language of a Parasol:

Carrying it elevated in left hand.
Desiring acquaintance.

Carrying it elevated in right hand.
You are too willing.

Carrying it closed in left hand.
Meet on the first crossing.

Carrying it closed in right hand by the side.
Follow me.

Carrying it over the right shoulder.
You can speak to me.

Carrying it over the left shoulder.
You are too cruel.

Closing it up.
I wish to speak to you.

Dropping it.
I love you.

End of tips to lips.
Do you love me?

Folding it up.
Get rid of your company.

Letting it rest on the right cheek.

Letting it rest on the left cheek.

Striking it on the hand.
I am very displeased.

Swinging it to and fro by the handle on the left side.
I am engaged.

Swinging it to and fro by the handle on the left side.
I am married.

Tapping the chin gently.
I am in love with another.

Twisting it in the left hand.
I love another.

Twirling it around.
Be careful; we are watched.

Using it as a fan.
Introduce me to your company.

Biting the tips.
I wish to be rid of you very soon.

With handle to lips.
Kiss me.


Feb 20, 2005
And the fellows sat around studying Godey's Lady's Book so they knew what all of that meant?? That's too much book learnin' for a Zouave!



Feb 20, 2005
It's crazy to think that anyone would remember any of these things, but this was mainly the upper crust of society. Another crazy tid bit:

A gentleman was never to wear the same pair of gloves more then one dance so as to not soil a ladies dress. Often times there would be a table set out at a formal ball where a servent would be stationed for each gentleman and his gloves. Sometimes a gentleman went thru up to 200 gloves in one evening.

It was also looked upon very poorly if a man were to attend a formal ball and be a wall ornament. They may not be invited back again to a dance if the gentleman did not fill his dance card.

It was also the hostess's responsibility to make sure that a gentleman who was hanging around and not dancing to find him a suitable partner.

A married couple could dance the first and the last dance together, but it was not proper for them to dance the rest of the night away with each other.

Crazy stuff hey????
And you're right, not for a Zouave!


Feb 20, 2005
The Deep South, Alabama
Well, for someone like me who has trouble chewing gum and walking, I don't think I would have fit in at all. Between the parasol language, the fan language, having to be followed around by a chaperone, knowing which dress is "decent" in the daylight hours and what's appropriate for evening wear, I'm afraid my mother would have just told me "You'd best stay home!"

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