From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
More meanings of the word "kiss" are available at Kiss (disambiguation).
A kiss is the touching of the lips to some other thing, usually another person. In modern Western culture it is most commonly an expression of romantic affection or sexual desire, and typically involves two people kissing one another on the lips, and may also involve one person kissing another on various parts of his or her body.
Kissing is also a means of expressing greetings between people of close acquaintance, often family members. This typically involves kissing on the cheek (or near the cheek, in the air, while cheeks are touching.
Kissing may also be used to signify reverence and subordination, as in kissing the ring of a king or pope. A kiss can also be rude or done for the sake of irritating or proving one's superiority. A rude kiss or a kiss with a smack is referred to as a buss.
When not an expression of romantic affection, a kiss is a largely symbolic gesture, in that the purpose of the kiss is to convey a meaning, such as salutations or subordination, rather than to experience the physical sensations associated with kissing. A kiss can be "blown" using actions of the hand and the mouth. This is used to convey affection usually while parting, when the partners are physically distant but can view each other. Blow kisses are also used when a popular person wishes to convey affection to a large crowd or audience.
In romantic and sexual kissing, the physical sensations are often primary. Thus romantic kissing tends to be more intense and prolonged (see tongue kiss).
The term Kissing Hands is used to formally describe the appointment of the senior state figures to office by British monarchs. Though in the past, the monarch's hand was actually kissed, this is no longer so. When figures such as the British Prime Minister, cabinet members and diplomatics are formally appointed, they are said to have Kissed Hands.