Saturday, December 22, 2012

Why We Kiss

From Life In The Fast Lane:

A kiss — the pairing or touching of lips — is typically an expression of affection, greeting or farewell, and intensely as an expression of romantic affection or sexual desire. Parents kiss children, worshippers kiss religious artifacts and couples kiss each other. Kisses take on a number of figurative meanings in folklore, literature, and art, ranging from the betrayal — with Judas’ kiss — to the life-giving symbolism of movies such as The Little Mermaid.

The word comes from Old English cyssan ‘to kiss,’ in turn from coss ‘a kiss.’ Anthropologists report that 90% of the people in the world kiss. So how does one gesture come to signify affection, celebration, grief, comfort and respect, world-wide?

Read the rest here.

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