<yossarian> Your lips? I was thinking about kind of a european cheek kiss

Apparently a non-passionate kiss pioneered by the Europeans (can we get anymore specific) in which the givers lips touch the receivers cheeks.

Not to be confused with the South American Cheek Kiss.
The mighty Italians did it first (they do everything good first), everyone else just copied them. Frenchy-frog-copycats!

I love how I get voted negative for this. Sorry for having a sense of humor, but the italians DID in fact create this expression. They also created the Ferrari, the Lamborghini, Geometry (might have been the greeks, but I am fairly sure that the Italians invented the greeks as well), Empires, Spagetti, three hour lunch breaks and Roberto Benigni. So bite me.
*chuckle* now, Cicero pro domo sua as a famous pre-Italian (aka Roman) said ... let us be more precise.

People in Southern Italy kiss among friends. Men kiss men, women kiss men, women kiss women. In Northern Italy, men do not kiss among themselves, and women kiss men only when they are close friends. Even in Northern Italy, women kiss each other freely, especially among the young generation.

My father's family is from the South (Lecce), and my mother's from the North (Parma), which makes a border bastard of me (as Francesco Guccini would say). So it has happened more than once that, returning from happy holidays in the hot South, I greeted my male friends with kisses. This always was somewhat perturbing to them, and embarassing to me.

  • Notice that Italians kiss twice, right-left. The kiss is either placed on the cheek (it has to be a dry kiss, you slobberers), or left in the air, about one inch from the receiver's skin.
  • Mexicans kiss once. Your second kiss would be left hanging in the air, a bad feeling comparable only to being refused a handshake.
  • People in Geneva kiss thrice. But after all they are Swiss, so they can take things easy.

In this cross-cultural confusion, one should remember that it is better not to kiss than to kiss as if you were doing a great favor to the kissed, or to his cultural background. This is often a problem with Americans in Europe - you can plainly see that they are thinking about whether to kiss or not, what will happen, what will the people say... I realize it must be very difficult.

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