Google winking, wink meaning or winking and body language and a vast array of sites will come up, each with a list of meanings. Some of them also noted the old expression a wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse, which I think is true. Winking, or the action of looking at another person and deliberately closing one eye can have a variety of meanings. In some cultures it is a friendly gesture, in others it is sexual and in some parts of the world winking can be considered vulgar. In my own life, I have been on the receiving end of winks that felt like everything from comradeship to sexual harassment. For the purposes of this article, I'm going to explore the variety of winks and meanings ...
Styles of Winking
Apparently, there is more than one way to wink. People usually wink with their dominant eye--for example if the left eye is dominant, that person will always wink with their left eye--or winking may be sometimes done with both eyes. (I have yet to see anyone do that.)
Another varient of the wink is the 'clink' which is basically a wink that is accompanied by a perfectly timed click of the tongue. (I'm a bit of a fan of this kind of wink. The clicking and obviousness of it all makes it fun.)
While researching this article I was also surprised to discover that in North America there is a style of winking that involves not only the wink itself, but a click of the tongue and pointing ones thumb, index and middle fingers like a gun. (I'm not sure how popular this gesture is.)
Then, of course, there is the famous Monty Python sketch where the spoken words Wink, wink, nudge, nudge accompany the appropriate gesture ...
Winking can have a variety of meanings, most of which depend on who is the sender and who is the receiver of a wink. Here are a few common ones:
This kind of wink is normally done to convey shared knowledge between two people, usually at the exclusion of others. For example Person A might play a prank on person B and then wink at Person C to let them in on the joke. Some Doctor Who fans might note that during the opening credits the seventh doctor would look at the camera and wink. The meaning for this one is clear. The doctor is letting viewers in to his secret world for a little while ...
This is usually done to give someone silent encouragement--a way of saying, yes, you can do this!
In some instances a wink can be a very quick way of saying 'thank you' or 'well done'.
It's basically a way of saying, I find you attractive. Sometimes a wink while flirting can really just mean, I'm doing this in fun and hope that you had fun too. In other words the winker doesn't want the flirting to be taken seriously. It's all just in fun.
Personally, my favourite style of winking is the 'clink' because it is one of the more fun ways to wink. Clinking is usually done to show comfort, satisfaction or when somebody flirts.Winking can also be a way of someone to express their sexual interest in another person, particularly if partnered with sexual words or touch. This is sometimes where sexual harassment can come into play--if the winking is inappropriate, or if the winker can (or reasonably should,) be able to tell, that the other person is uncomfortable but continues with the behaviour.
And, finally, I cannot resist ending this post with this awesome clip that I found on YouTube: