Much like a snapshot is precious a thousand words, a wink deserve to have a thousands meanings. 

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

That arguably provides the wink the most ambiguous gesture used in communication. ;) or 😉

In this article, you’ll discover how and why we wink, the various interpretations of a wink around the civilization (flirty, fun and creepy) and what to perform if you’re winking uncontrollably. 

Let’s obtain started… 

Why perform we wink?

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

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We wink to present affection, to spark a laugh, come share an inside secret and because that so countless other reasons. We wink in person, in emails and also in message messages. 

The Winking confront emoticon was approved as part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010 and added to Emoji 1.0 in 2015, according to (yes, that’s a thing).

How us wink (the science behind the wink)

The plot of winking requires contracting the orbicularis oculi muscle, i m sorry receives signal from the facial engine nucleus. If the connection between these 2 hubs is too weak, climate no amount of exercise will pay off with a effective wink — it’s impossible.

Not everyone have the right to wink, and some people can wink with one eye and not the other. 

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

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

How does ocular prominence differ native writing v a leading hand or walking with a leading foot? The two are governed by various parts the the brain. Your ocular supremacy is administrate by the part of the mind that controls your field of vision.

WHEN WAS your LAST EYE EXAM? uncover an eye doctor and also book an exam.

What walk a wink mean?

A wink is just a wink, lock say, yet in fact that rarely is the case. A wink have the right to be fun, teasing, flirty and also — relying on the one law (or receiving) the winking — unsettling. 

The meaning of a wink counts on the context, the surroundings and also most of all, the two human being involved. It’s a common communication. 

A wink deserve to be evaluate or inappropriate, depending upon the circumstances, timing and also the relationship in between the human doing the winking and the one who is winked at.

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

Why is winking flirty?

There’s a reason why her heart flutters once a potential suitor sends a wink her way. 

Research reflects that once humans discover something amazing or arousing, their pupils dilate and also their blinking will certainly increase. This is the body’s response to the brain saying “more please” — too much blinking and also dilated pupils permit the eye to take it in more of what they find pleasing and also send it come the brain.


Winking at someone as a method of flirtation plays turn off of too much blinking, since winking deliberately communicates the the sight of someone is interesting to you.

But what’s thought about flirty in one country may be seen as rude or vulgar. If you’re a people traveler, this next section is for you. Girlfriend don’t desire to send the dorn signal through your wink.

What winking means in different cultures

Cultures about the human being have arisen their very own interpretations for the wink and, as expected, they're almost everywhere the map.     

Western society — Western society has taken on the gesture and used the to connect everything but the kitchen wink. ;) So lot so, that usual phrases were created to administer context for various winking situations, choose “nudge nudge, wink wink” to indicate that you and also another human being are share an within joke, or “to catch 40 winks” to explain taking a nap.


Western culture winks require an ext context 보다 in other cultures, since they can mean anything indigenous flirtation or encouragement to josh or malice. For instance, ~ the civil War, cadets in ~ West suggest Military Academy provided winking to aid each other cheat on tests. This days, winking is used in American sporting activities to communicate details instructions come teammates.

Latin America — keeping things basic (and steamy), winking is used specifically to connect romantic or sexual interest.

West Africa — In Nigeria, it is a authorize of disrespect because that a boy to it is in in the same room as a guest, so parents will wink at the child to dismiss them native the room when visitors space present.

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

Australia — acquisition a sharp rotate in meaning, winking in Australian society is thought about rude and too suggestive, particularly when done by a guy to a woman.

Asia — Winking is taken into consideration a vulgar gesture in eastern cultures so uneven you’re looking for a fight, keep your winks to yourself.

When a wink is not a wink, but an eye twitch

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

There are organic remedies that can get rid of those symptoms. Reducing caffeine intake; practicing meditation, yoga or light exercise; and stimulating your creative thinking with reading, working on a puzzle or drawing/coloring can reduce her stress and the face twitches that accompany it.

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Winking actions in pets

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

Cats When cats wink or blink in ~ you, it’s considered the greatest compliment. Referred to as a “cat kiss,” winking from cats communicates that they check out you together trustworthy and also they’re comfortable in her presence. In the many nonchalant cat-like fashion, they’re letting you recognize they love you. The coolest component is that they translate a wink or blink the exact same way, therefore feel totally free to provide your cat a slow wink come send them part love. 


Dogs — Although numerous dog owners select to believe their pup’s wink is expected to it is in a cute little message, it’s in reality a sign of non-aggression. Uneven humans, dog don’t depend on facial expressions come communicate, so prolonged eye contact is regarded as aggression and also a challenge of dominance. Due to the fact that your dog doesn’t desire to fight you, castle wink in submission. For this reason a wink from your dog may not necessarily be a authorize of admiration, however of respect, i m sorry is tho heartwarming. 

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So have to you wink or not?

Winking in the right time, the best place and also the right circumstances can be a wonderful thing. It could be the spark that kindles a romance. A mutual wink amongst friends is confirmation of an inside joke or common bond. 

But beware of sending out the wrong message with her wink. A wink in ~ work may not it is in appreciated, if a wink from her pet is constantly encouraging. A wink from who on the train or bus deserve to be creepy. And a wink in the wrong nation to the wrong human can change the mood in the blink — or wink — of one eye. 

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