Much favor a photo is precious a thousand words, a wink deserve to have a thousands meanings. 

A subtle wink has been making civilization swoon because long before Elvis perfected the gesture, however winks aren’t always a sign of flirtation. In fact, the definition of a wink have the right to be totally different escape on culture and context. 

That arguably makes the wink the many ambiguous gesture supplied in communication. ;) or 😉

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

Let’s get started… 

Why do we wink?

Because the act is for this reason subtle and takes on plenty of meanings, the beginning of winking is unknown.

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We wink to display affection, to spark a laugh, come share an inside an enig and because that so many other reasons. Us wink in person, in emails and in text messages. 

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

How us wink (the science behind the wink)

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

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

Pop star and also overall queen Rihanna shocked the human being when it was found that she might not wink. 

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

How go ocular prominence differ indigenous writing v a leading hand or walking with a dominant foot? The two room governed by different parts of the brain. Your ocular dominance is administrate by the component of the brain that controls your ar of vision.

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

What walk a wink mean?

A wink is just a wink, castle say, but in truth that seldom is the case. A wink can be fun, teasing, flirty and — depending on the one doing (or receiving) the winking — unsettling. 

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

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

In part cases, a wink might not be a wink in ~ all, but rather a face tic or one eye twitch led to by stress, alcohol or any variety of things.

Why is winking flirty?

There’s a factor why your heart flutters as soon as a potential suitor sends out a wink her way. 

Research mirrors that as soon as humans find something interesting or arousing, your pupils dilate and also their blinking will certainly increase. This is the body’s an answer to the brain saying “more please” — excessive blinking and dilated pupils enable the eye to take in an ext of what they discover pleasing and send it come the brain.


Winking at someone as a method of flirtation plays off of too much blinking, because winking intentionally communicates the the sight of someone is exciting to you.

But what’s considered flirty in one nation may be viewed as rude or vulgar. If you’re a world traveler, this next section is for you. Girlfriend don’t desire to send the wrong signal through your wink.

What winking way in different cultures

Cultures about the civilization have occurred their own interpretations for the wink and, together expected, they're anywhere the map.     

Western culture — Western culture has embraced the gesture and also used the to communicate everything but the kitchen wink. ;) So lot so, that usual phrases were created to provide context for various winking situations, prefer “nudge nudge, wink wink” to suggest that you and another person are share an inside joke, or “to record 40 winks” to explain taking a nap.


Western culture winks require much more context 보다 in other cultures, since they have the right to mean anything from flirtation or encourage to mock or malice. For instance, after the polite War, cadets in ~ West allude Military Academy used winking to aid each other cheat ~ above tests. These days, winking is supplied in American sports to communicate details instructions come teammates.

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

West Africa — In Nigeria, it is a sign of disrespect because that a child to it is in in the very same room as a guest, for this reason parents will certainly wink at the son to i have dissolved them native the room as soon as visitors are present.

India — There’s a well line because that winking in Indian culture. It’s seen as a cunning or flirtatious act as soon as done in between husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend, however as unreasonable or violation if excellent to someone you’re not in a relationship with.

Australia — taking a sharp rotate in meaning, winking in Australian culture is considered rude and also too suggestive, especially when done by a man to a woman.

Asia — Winking is thought about a vulgar gesture in eastern cultures so uneven you’re in search of a fight, store your winks to yourself.

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

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

There are herbal remedies the can eliminate those symptoms. To reduce caffeine intake; practicing meditation, yoga or light exercise; and also stimulating your imagination with reading, functioning on a puzzle or drawing/coloring have the right to reduce her stress and the facial twitches that accompany it.

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Winking habits in pets

All pet owners have been there: You’re sit on the couch, spring at her half-asleep dog or cat, and just when you believe they can’t get more perfect, they slowly wink at you and you think, “I don’t worthy this angel.” think it or not, winks from animals have just as much intention and definition as winks native humans.

Cats When cat wink or blink in ~ you, it’s taken into consideration the highest compliment. Referred to as a “cat kiss,” winking from cat communicates that they see you as trustworthy and they’re comfortable in her presence. In the most nonchalant cat-like fashion, they’re letting you know they love you. The coolest component is that they analyze a wink or blink the same way, for this reason feel totally free to offer your cat a slow wink come send them some love. 


Dogs — Although plenty of dog owners choose to believe their pup’s wink is expected to be a cute little message, it’s actually a authorize of non-aggression. Uneven humans, dogs don’t rely on facial expressions to communicate, so extended eye contact is perceived as aggression and a challenge of dominance. Due to the fact that your dog doesn’t want to fight you, they wink in submission. For this reason a wink from her dog might not necessarily be a sign of admiration, yet of respect, i m sorry is quiet heartwarming. 

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So should you wink or not?

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

But beware of sending out the wrong message with your wink. A wink in ~ work might not be appreciated, when a wink from your pet is always encouraging. A wink from who on the train or bus can be creepy. And a wink in the wrong country to the wrong human can readjust the the atmosphere in the blink — or wink — of one eye. 

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