One thing that sets us humans apart from the beasts of burden is the fact that we kiss. Whether it’s to show affection, passion, or respect the kiss is the cornerstone of showing emotions. We’re all familiar with different types of smooching, but what about the kissing facts? We’ve gathered a list together of the most interesting tidbits we’ve found:
Lovers and Haters of Kissing
People who are mad about kissing are philematologists, those that abhor any meeting of the lips are philematophobics. Though how anyone can dislike a good lip smack smacks of idiocy.
The Origins of ‘Kiss’
The word ‘kiss’ stems from the German word ‘kussjan,’ which is onomatopoeic (simply a long way of saying ‘sounds like the action’). In Italian: bacio. In Scottish Gaelic: pog. And in Romanian: pupic.
The average person, by the end of their life, will have spent a mind-numbing 20,160 minutes on kissing. Not a bad way to while away the hours.
The ‘X’ that people use when signing off a letter, email or text started from how historically illiterate people were. They couldn’t write their names, so they signed documents with an X , which even an ape can do. If they were feeling particularly saucy or loving, they’d kiss the X. Eventually the X morphed into meaning ‘kiss.’
Man, My Lips Are Tired
You’ve probably never heard of Alfred Wolfram, unless you were the lucky recipient of one of his kisses in 1990. He broke a world record for kissing 8,001 people in 8 hours. No mention is made of what type of kiss he was doling out, but we’d take an educated guess that he probably just pecked.
Excuse My French
Roulant une pelle, as the French call what the English call the French kiss, is translated to ‘rolling a shovel.’ Romantic description, no? And if that’s not confusing enough, what the English call the French kiss, Indians call the English kiss. Because they introduced it to Indian society, as one does.
The muscles in the mouth really get a workout with French kissing. A proper* French kiss uses all 34 muscles. If you’re looking to save on energy and time, though, a quick pucker only uses 2.
Close Your Eyes, Darling
Leave it to those wily Canadians to do an anthropological study on kissing. They came up with surprising results between the sexes as far as closing eyes during a kiss. The men trailed far behind the women, with just 37% of men closing their eyes. Compare that to a staggering 97% of women. Maybe it’s a side-effect of too many rom-coms?
Have a Nice Day
Another strange study found that if men are kissed before they leave home for a trip, they actually have less accidents. We’ve got no clue what this means for the average Joe.
National Smooch Day
The official calendar kissing day is February 5th, a nice tie-in towards Valentine’s. How it was chosen (or who, for that matter) is a curiosity but at least there’s one day out of the year you’ve got a good excuse for being a philematologist.
That’s What I Call a Kiss
We can thank New Jersey for the Boss, and for the longest recorded kiss ever. A gay couple, Matty and Bobby, had a world record kiss in 2010- it was 33 hours long.
Silver Screen Mwahs
127 kisses. That’s the record number, to date, of any film. ‘Don Juan,’ starring John Barrymore (granddad to Drew) was released in 1926. The biggest surprise is the fact that it hasn’t been beaten yet, despite the increase of intimacy shown in movies.
When a Kiss Isn’t a Kiss
Not all people kiss, or not only kiss. In China, for example, some kiss- and some touch their lovers’ cheeks and then sniff their fingers. Polynesians rub noses and perform something called ‘mitakuku,’ which is nibbling hair from the eyebrows. And the Trobriand Islanders also bite, not eyebrows but eyelashes, to show affection. What happens when they run out…?
Kisses in the Wild
While, generally speaking, us humans do have the market on romantic kisses, there are other mammals out there that also show affection. Sea lions, kangaroos and polar bears kiss. Chimpanzees French kiss. And elephants brush their trunks into their lovers’ mouths.
There you have it, all you ever wanted to know about kissing facts in one fell swoop. It’s probably time now to continue racking up your kissing minutes, while it’s fresh in mind.