Much choose a photo is worth a thousand words, a wink deserve to have a thousand meanings. 

A ethereal wink has actually been making civilization swoon due to the fact that long prior to Elvis perfected the gesture, but winks aren’t constantly a sign of flirtation. In fact, the meaning of a wink can be totally different escape on society and context. 

That arguably renders the wink the many ambiguous gesture offered in communication. ;) or 😉

In this article, you’ll find out how and also why us wink, the various definitions of a wink approximately the civilization (flirty, fun and creepy) and also what to carry out if you’re winking uncontrollably. 

Let’s acquire started… 

Why perform we wink?

Because the act is for this reason subtle and also takes on countless meanings, the origin of winking is unknown.

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We wink to show affection, to spark a laugh, come share one inside an enig and for so many other reasons. We wink in person, in emails and in text messages. 

The Winking face emoticon was authorized as part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010 and included to Emoji 1.0 in 2015, according to Emojipedia.org (yes, that’s a thing).

How we wink (the science behind the wink)

The action of winking requires contracting the orbicularis oculi muscle, i m sorry receives signals from the facial motor nucleus. If the connection between these two hubs is also weak, climate no quantity of exercise will pay off through a effective wink — it’s impossible.

Not everyone have the right to wink, and also some human being can wink v one eye and also not the other. 

Pop star and also overall queen Rihanna shocked the world when that was uncovered that she might not wink. 

Being able come wink through one eye but not the other is referred to as ocular dominance. 

How go ocular prominence differ from writing v a dominant hand or walking through a dominant foot? The two are governed by various parts that the brain. Her ocular prominence is administer by the part of the brain that controls your field of vision.

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What does a wink mean?

A wink is simply a wink, lock say, yet in truth that rarely is the case. A wink can be fun, teasing, flirty and also — depending on the one law (or receiving) the winking — unsettling. 

The definition of a wink relies on the context, the surroundings and most the all, the two civilization involved. It’s a common communication. 

A wink can be appreciated or inappropriate, depending upon the circumstances, timing and the relationship in between the human being doing the winking and the one who is winked at.

In some cases, a wink might not it is in a wink in ~ all, however rather a facial tic or one eye twitch led to by stress, alcohol or any number of things.

Why is winking flirty?

There’s a reason why your heart flutters when a potential suitor sends out a wink her way. 

Research shows that once humans find something exciting or arousing, your pupils dilate and their blinking will increase. This is the body’s solution to the mind saying “more please” — too much blinking and also dilated pupils enable the eyes to take it in more of what they discover pleasing and send it come the brain.


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Winking in ~ someone together a method of flirtation plays turn off of extreme blinking, due to the fact that winking intentionally communicates that the vision of someone is interesting to you.

But what’s considered flirty in one country may be viewed as rude or vulgar. If you’re a human being traveler, this next section is because that you. You don’t desire to send the dorn signal through your wink.

What winking means in various cultures

Cultures about the human being have emerged their very own interpretations because that the wink and, together expected, they're anywhere the map.     

Western society — Western culture has adopted the gesture and used it to interact everything but the kitchen wink. ;) So lot so, that typical phrases were produced to provide context for various winking situations, like “nudge nudge, wink wink” to suggest that you and another person are sharing an inside joke, or “to record 40 winks” to describe taking a nap.


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Western society winks require more context than in various other cultures, since they can mean anything from flirtation or encourage to mockery or malice. For instance, ~ the polite War, cadets in ~ West allude Military Academy offered winking to help each various other cheat top top tests. This days, winking is used in American sporting activities to communicate particular instructions to teammates.

Latin America — maintaining things simple (and steamy), winking is used solely to connect romantic or sex-related interest.

West Africa — In Nigeria, the is a authorize of disrespect because that a son to it is in in the same room together a guest, so parents will certainly wink at the kid to i disbanded them indigenous the room as soon as visitors room present.

India — There’s a good line because that winking in Indian culture. It’s viewed as a sly or flirtatious act as soon as done between husband and wife or boyfriend and also girlfriend, yet as unreasonable or violation if excellent to who you’re not in a connection with.

Australia — taking a sharp revolve in meaning, winking in Australian society is considered rude and too suggestive, specifically when done by a male to a woman.

Asia — Winking is taken into consideration a vulgar gesture in asian cultures so unless you’re trying to find a fight, keep your winks to yourself.

When a wink is no a wink, yet an eye twitch

Winking isn’t constantly something the you “just do.” when stress gets the much better of you, that can cause facial twitching, i m sorry can appear as unintentional party winking (get that —“binge winking?”) ;) ;) ;) ;). 

There are herbal remedies that can remove those symptoms. Reduce caffeine intake; practicing meditation, yoga or irradiate exercise; and stimulating your imagination with reading, working on a puzzle or drawing/coloring deserve to reduce your stress and the facial twitches that accompany it.

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Winking behavior in pets

All pet owners have actually been there: You’re sit on the couch, feather at her half-asleep dog or cat, and also just as soon as you think they can’t get more perfect, they gradually wink in ~ you and you think, “I don’t deserve this angel.” think it or not, winks from pets have simply as lot intention and meaning as winks native humans.

Cats When cats wink or blink at you, it’s considered the greatest compliment. Referred to as a “cat kiss,” winking from cats communicates that they view you together trustworthy and they’re comfortable in your presence. In the most nonchalant cat-like fashion, they’re letting you understand they love you. The coolest component is that they interpret a wink or blink the exact same way, so feel cost-free to give your cat a sluggish wink come send them some love. 


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Dogs — Although many dog owners choose to think their pup’s wink is supposed to it is in a cute small message, it’s in reality a authorize of non-aggression. Unequal humans, dog don’t rely on face expressions to communicate, so prolonged eye contact is viewed as aggression and also a an obstacle of dominance. Since your dog doesn’t want to hit you, lock wink in submission. For this reason a wink from her dog may not have to be a sign of admiration, yet of respect, which is quiet heartwarming. 

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So need to you wink or not?

Winking in the appropriate time, the right place and also the appropriate circumstances can be a wonderful thing. It can be the spark the kindles a romance. A common wink among friends is check of an inside joke or typical bond. 

But beware of sending the wrong post with your wink. A wink in ~ work may not it is in appreciated, when a wink from her pet is always encouraging. A wink from someone on the train or bus have the right to be creepy. And a wink in the wrong country to the wrong person can adjust the atmosphere in the blink — or wink — of one eye. 

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