Here’s The Meaning of Hand Kisses, History and The Correct Way to Give a Hand Kiss

A hand kiss is defined as any kiss in which one person kisses the other’s hand or ring.

Of course, the significance of a hand-kiss varies depending on the situation.

It’s most likely just a respectful greeting if someone you’re introduced to bows and kisses your hand at the Vienna State Opera (or anyplace else very posh).

If you go on a first date and your date kisses you on the hand, it’s most likely because they’re chivalrous and old-fashioned, attempting to preserve ancient traditions alive.

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Let them know if it makes you uncomfortable so you may continue your date without fear.

It can, however, be used in a more informal, meaningful way on occasion.

Kiss on the Hand Meaning

Maybe you’re on a date with your significant other and they take your hand in theirs and gently kiss it.

This is simply a token of affection and admiration.

They can’t reach your face since you’re across the table, but they can kiss your hand because it’s conveniently accessible.

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Again, if you don’t like it, simply tell your partner, but if you do, appreciate the show of love.

The Origin of Hand Kisses

Hand kissing seems to be a centuries-old tradition.

Finding an authentic historical reference prior to the eighth century, on the other hand, can be difficult.

We can only presume that the act of hand kissing dates back deeper in antiquity because it is mentioned in Homer’s Iliad.

Hand kissing was also observed in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, particularly in Poland-Lithuania and Spain.

You might also observe that hand kissing is used in period films to signify chivalry.

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In several nations, the practice is still practiced today.

Hand kissing is still practiced in places like Turkey, Malaysia, Somalia, and others to show respect for the elderly.

Gentlemen kiss a woman’s hand as a polite gesture in some Central and Eastern European countries.

However, after the turn of the twentieth century, the custom of kissing hands began to fade.

People nowadays appear to believe that the activity has religious or cultural implications.

People have shied away from the old-age custom in the modern world, where they risk being accused of appropriation and even mocking.

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Some people now prefer a cheek kiss than a mouth kiss to symbolize a closer relationship.

An embrace or a high five has also become an option.

The Meaning of Hand Kisses

The connotation of a hand kiss varies depending on the situation. Some of the more prevalent ramifications are listed here.

1) Chivalry’s Mark

Chivalry's mark

You’ve probably watched a film in which a gentleman kisses a lady’s hand.

It is, nevertheless, governed by some societal rules.

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The offered hand is usually that of a lady who is on the same or higher social level than the male.

On the other side, it could simply be a couple’s show of love and affection.

Kissing a lady’s hand today may appear archaic, yet it conveys a high level of respect as well as love.

Some women may even wish that their spouse continued to kiss in this manner.

2) Diplomatic gesture

Kissing the hand can also convey a strong sense of deference. It can be done in a group of people who adhere to a set of tight rules.

In contrast to the previous statement, this kiss is not a romantic gesture. Rather, it’s a pledge of allegiance.

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It’s almost as if it’s a promise. It’s a dramatic motion, almost as if she’s saying, “I’m at your command.” Yes, it harkens back to a bygone era.

3) Respect for the Elderly

A kiss on the hand is a way for some cultures to show respect for their elders.

Kissing the hand of the elders is common in Muslim nations such as Brunei, Turkey, and Indonesia.

In exchange, the family’s elder can bless the person who is demonstrating respect.

They may simply hold the head of the person kissing their hand or speak their blessing.

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Take the outstretched hand and kiss it if you are visiting a home where this gesture is performed.

Ignoring the hand is regarded as a gesture of disrespect.

The younger members of the family are unlikely to wait for the hand to be extended.

They will go straight to their elders (grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and anyone else) and kiss their hands to express their affection.

In the Philippines, younger people are not allowed to kiss their elders’ hands. They take the hand and place it on their brows instead.

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The method used may differ slightly, but the goal remains the same.

It’s a salutation to their elders and a symbol of respect. It is a symbol of disobedience to refuse it.

4) Act of Religion

Religious act

Believers in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches frequently kiss the hands of religious leaders such as priests, bishops, and the pope.

When a believer makes this gesture, they are expressing their reverence for the faith and its representatives.

Kneeling on their left knee can help them emphasize the kiss.

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A religious hand kiss is frequently performed on the ring rather than the hand.

When people approach the pope to kiss the papal ring, this gesture is most visible. Some people actually kiss their religious leader’s hands.

The kiss, on the other hand, may have been offered, and the religious leader will bless you for it.

To mark the blessing, he may touch the person’s head (laying of hands) or make the sign of the cross in the air.

5) Way to say Farewell

If your date is lovely and traditional, he may kiss your hand at the end of the date.

That single gesture says a lot and can mean a lot depending on where you and your partner are in your relationship.

If you’ve only recently begun dating, kissing your hand could be a method for him to express his love for you without the awkward “Should we kiss on the lips?” moment.

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It could also be a way for him to show you that he had a good time. It’s a guarantee that he’ll see you again.

Alternatively, your long-term lover may simply want to express how valuable you are to him.

It’s a dreamy and gentlemanly way to conclude a date!

Whatever the circumstance may be, a man kisses a woman’s hand to bid her farewell and promise that more will follow soon.

The Correct Way to Give a Hand Kiss

The Correct Way to Give a Hand Kiss

Kissing someone’s hand may seem like a no-brainer, but it comes with some etiquette.

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  • The kiss can be started by either party. The girl or the guy ready to kiss her hand can extend their hands. A religious leader or an elderly person are both in this category.

They can either extend their hands or the other person can start the conversation.

  • The person whose hand will be kissed can begin by raising their hand, palm down, with the back at the top.
  • The person who wants to kiss the hand can start by extending their hand and placing their palm on top.

The palm is open and ready to accept the other’s hand.

  • When you’re about to kiss someone, softly hold their hand.
  • Under the other person’s hand, place two or three fingers. It’s best if your thumb is on top.

It should make contact with the back of the other’s hand.

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  • Make that your lips are completely dry.
  • On top of the person’s hand, make a kissing gesture.

If you’re talking to someone you don’t know, don’t let your mouth come into contact with their hand.


Kissing someone’s hand has cultural, religious, and customary overtones. It can also be used to show affection and love.

It can be used as a greeting or a way to say farewell, at least between those who are close.

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However, kissing someone’s hand unexpectedly these days can be regarded uncommon and startling.

Of course, there are exceptions, such as belonging to a culture or religion that continues to practice it.

Make sure the person understands why you’re doing it if you decide to do it.

You might do it for someone you admire or someone you adore.

Whatever the case may be, be certain you complete the task correctly. This form of kiss is governed by a set of regulations.

This manner, you can assure that the kiss takes place without the other person being concerned about germs.

You should also not be concerned about mocking the other individual.

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Kissing the hand is the ultimate sign of reverence when done correctly. It could also be a very romantic gesture.

Yes, a tongue kiss may be quite passionate. It is said to provide physical pleasure. A kiss on the hand, on the other hand, is romantic.

It can be a promise of something more if done without a trace of derision.

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