Joseph Addison, publisher of The Spectator in the early 1700s, was known to have said that if he could only see the fan of a disciplined lady he could tell her mood and what she was feeling. Addison also started an academy for women to be trained in the use and handling of a fan. In regards to fan etiquette he said, "Women are armed with fans as men with swords, and sometimes do more execution with them."
Here are a few other signals listed in "How to Fan a Flirt"
- Carrying a fan in the left hand signified "desirous of acquaintance"
- Allowing the fan to rest on the right cheek meant "yes" and on the left "no"
- Placing the fan on the left ear signified "you have changed"
- Drawing a fan across the forehead meant "we are watched"
- Drawing a fan across the eyes meant "I am sorry"
- Opening a fan wide meant "wait for me"
- Dropping a fan meant "we could be friends"
- Fast fanning meant "I am married"
- Swift drawing of a fan through the hand meant "I hate you"
- Placing the handle of a fan to the lips meant "kiss me"
- Twirling a fan in the left hand meant "I wish to be rid of you"
- Twirling a fan in the right hand meant "I love another"
- An open fan held in the right hand in front of the face meant "follow me"