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Monday, 9 November 2015


The word 'kiss' is from the old English 'cyssan' which probably comes from proto-Germanic expression 'kussijanan or kuss' which is understood to be based on the sound that kissing makes.


The ancient Romans distinguished three types of kiss: osculum (a peck-on-the-cheek), basium (an amorous kiss) and saviolum (a full-blooded snog).

Roman Emperor Tiberius banned kissing, believing it caused the spread of a fungal disease called mentagra (inflamed hair follicles).

The English of medieval times kissed as much and, unlike many of their contemporaries on the continent. The Dutch humanist, Erasmus, noted delightfully how he was greeted by his English hostesses with a lip locking kiss.

Kissing was banned in England on July 16, 1439 to stop the spread of pestilence and disease. It was remarkable that the Parliament of King Henry VI of England should issue a proclamation banning kissing, centuries before the understanding of the concepts of hygiene and germs.

Kissing in public was banned in Naples on March 9, 1562, contravention being punishable by death.

Romeo and Juliet in a painting by Sir Frank Dicksee.

According to seventeenth century conventions, when kissing under the mistletoe, you kiss, then pick a berry off the mistletoe, then kiss again and pull another berry, and continue until all the berries are gone.

The inhabitants of Mangaia island in the South Pacific had never heard of kissing until the English arrived in the 1700s.

'Air-kiss' was first seen as a noun in 1887 but not recorded as a verb until 1975.

The first screen kiss was between May Irwin and John Rice in the 1896 short movie The Kiss. The film was around 18 seconds long, and depicted a re-enactment of the kiss between May Irwin and John Rice from the final scene of the stage musical, The Widow Jones.  Denounced as obscene, it caused many to rail against decadence in the new medium of silent film.

The French banned kissing at railway stations on April 5, 1910 as they claimed it delayed train departures.

The need to kiss does not have a physical explanation. It is still unknown why humans find pleasure in exchanging saliva.


The most anyone has paid for a kiss at a charity auction is $50,000 (£39,000) with actress Sharon Stone in 2003.

On July 5-6, 2005 a couple in London broke the record for the longest kiss when they kept their lips locked for 31 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds. (They kissed without taking break for food or water and were later hospitalized for dehydration).

Their record was broken by Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat of Thailand at an event in Pattaya, Thailand, on February 12-14 2013. They set a new landmark for the world's longest kiss by smooching for 58 hours 35 minutes 58 seconds.

The world record for most kisses in a minute by a couple is 258, achieved by Californians Paul Fremeau and Alina Evans in 2012, who switched from kissing on the lips to the forehead because it was quicker.

The longest kiss in a movie is in Andy Warhol's Kiss. Rufus Collins and Naomi Levine smooched for the entire 50 minutes of the film.

The record for most kisses in a movie is 127 by Lionel Barrymore in the 1926 film Don Juan. The recipients were Mary Astor and Estelle Taylor. The movie holds the record for the biggest total of kisses — 191 over 110 minutes


The science and study of kissing is called 'philematology.'

90% of people kiss although kissing customs vary across the world, according to anthropologists.

Scholars do not know if the act of kissing is instinctual or learned. Some cultures in Africa and Asia do not seem to practice it, although it is hard to say if they have never seen or heard about it.

The Oxford English Dictionary lists 52 different words meaning a kiss or kissing. These range from 'baisemain' (a kiss on the hand) to 'exosculation' (a hearty kiss).

Thirty-three percent of people open their eyes while kissing.

About two-thirds of people always tip their head to the right when they kiss. Some scientists speculate this preference starts in the womb.

Most people think the Eskimo Kiss is just rubbing noses, but it's actually an 11-step procedure which includes pressing your nose into your partner's cheek and inhaling while making a smacking noise, without kissing, to the side of your partner's lips. What they're doing is inhaling the scent of their partner.

Bretons traditionally kiss each other only once on the cheek, unlike their more effusive compatriots in the rest of France who opt for two, three or four pecks.


Kissing predominately uses one muscle called the orbicularis oris, which is responsible for puckering one's lips while kissing.

It is said that the French kiss involves all the muscles in the face while a 'pucker kiss' entails only two.

Kissing is good for teeth. The anticipation of a kiss increases the flow of saliva to the mouth, giving the teeth a plaque-dispersing wash.

Passionately kissing for one minute burns 26 calories.

According to a Chinese newspaper article, published in Beijing in 1992, a kiss takes three minutes off your life because it speeds up and increases the pressure on your heart. Another paper responded, stating that kissing could prolong your life, was beneficial to your teeth and excellent for slimmers, burning off three calories per smooch.

A kiss can be ten times more effective than morphine in reducing pain, as it's thought that it activates the body's natural pain killers.

The act of kissing releases oxytocin in the brain - A hormone that strengthens the emotional bond between two people.


The study of kissing started some time in the nineteenth century and is called Philematology

The average age for a first kiss is 15.

41% of people experienced their first kiss between the ages of 13-15.

On average, we spend 340 hours or just over 14 days of our lives kissing.

Two out of three people tilt their heads to the right when kissing.

After Disney released Princess and the Frog, over 50 children were hospitalized with salmonella from kissing frogs.

Sources Fantastic Facts by John May, Daily Express, International Business Times, Daily Mail

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