Much as I love Scotland, I don’t at all like kilts (indeed I’ve only seen about two guys whom a kilt became in my life). Similarly, much as I love many Scottish sayings, I certainly don’t like this one:

He that looks wi ae ee, and winks wi anither, I wouldna believe him, though he was my brither.

I realise this is about the “winking behind somebody’s back” sort, but in principle I don’t think I find much quarrel even with that. How many of us have never winked at a workmate, or at least have always disapproved of a workmate winking at us, behind our bosses’ backs? It’s always a matter of context, like most things in this world.

But, more importantly to me, there’s also the “enough said” sort of winking, one which in a split second tells “I believe you understand pretty well all the implications of what I have said, so I won’t waste our time by spelling them out for you”. It has nothing to do with making fun of anybody or anything (okay, not necesarily;-)), it’s simply about expressing the friendly feeling that, at least at the moment and at least as regards the matter in hand, you and the other(s) are on the same wavelength.

Indeed, I very rarely use any other smiley than he winking one. (Although perhaps I’d use a “shrugging” and a “thumbs-up” ones just as much, if only they existed – that is to say in the original three-symbol format; I’m too fusty and cynical to appreciate the overanimated teenagers’ stuff. But that’s anither story.)



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