For, hinei, the winter is past, the geshem (rain) is over and gone; The flowers appear on ha’aretz; the time of zemer (song, singing of birds) has come; and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in Artzeinu (our Land); The te’enah (fig tree) putteth forth her early figs, and the vines with the tender grape give forth fragrance. She observed in the flirtations between the American soldiers and British women a pattern of misunderstandings regarding who is supposed to take which initiative.
Charles Francis Badini created the Original Fanology or Ladies' Conversation Fan which was published by William Cock in London in 1797.
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.
This use was highly popular during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Flirting can indicate an interest in a deeper personal relationship with another person.
Challenges (teasing, questions, qualifying, feigned disinterest) serve to increase tension and test intention and congruity.
Flirting behavior varies across cultures due to different modes of social etiquette, such as how closely people should stand (proxemics), how long to hold eye contact, how much touching is appropriate and so forth. For example, ethologist Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt found that in places as different as Africa and North America, women exhibit similar flirting behavior, such as a prolonged stare followed by a head tilt away with a little smile. The Oxford English Dictionary (first edition) associates it with such onomatopoeic words as flit and flick, emphasizing a lack of seriousness; on the other hand, it has been attributed to the old French conter fleurette, which means "to (try to) seduce" by the dropping of flower petals, that is, "to speak sweet nothings".