Kiss

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A kiss is the act of pressing one's lips against the lips or other body parts of another. Cultural connotations of kissing vary widely. Depending on the culture and context, a kiss can express sentiments of love, passion, affection, respect, greeting, friendship, and good luck, among many others. In some situations a kiss is a ritual, formal or symbolic gesture indicating devotion, respect or greeting, as in the case of a bride and groom kissing at the conclusion of a wedding ceremony or national leaders kissing each other in greeting, and in many other situations.

The word came from Old English cyssan "to kiss", in turn from coss "a kiss".

Contents

Expression of affection and love

The act of kissing has become a common expression of affection among many cultures worldwide. Yet in certain cultures, kissing was introduced only through European settlement; prior to this, kissing was not a routine occurrence. Examples of this include certain indigenous peoples of Australia, the Tahitians, and many tribes in Africa.[1]

Kissing is a physical expression of affection or love between two people, in which the sensations of touch, taste, and smell are involved.[2] According to psychologist Menachem Brayer, although many "mammals, birds, and insects exchange caresses" which appear to be kisses of affection (e.g. lovebirds), they are not kisses as humans consider them. Psychologist William Cane notes that kissing in Western society is most often a romantic act and describes a few of its attributes:

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