flirtation veil

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daoxunchang

Senior Member
Chinese China
hello everyone, does anyone have an idea of a "flirtation veil"? This phrase comes from an essay by Joan Didion, "Marrying Absurd"(1967):
the bride in a veil and white satin pumps, the bridegroom usually in a white dinner jacket, and even an attendant or two, a sister or a best friend in hot-pink peau de soie, a flirtation veil, a carnation nosegay.
I searched for this phrase many days ago. At that time, I got something like some famous writer wrote something about a veil of flirtation. Now I search again, there's nothing of this kind. The Google results have decreased mysteriously. Not that I got anything helpful last time. Only it seems to be more hopeless for me to get the meaning of it.
So, does anyone have an idea of this kind of veil? My guess is that, because women in the past wore veils to cover their faces, but it was impossible to completely conceal the features and expressions, veils must have provided a useful and subtle tool for flirtation, so "veil of flirtation". But is there something special about a "flirtation veil" when such a function is explicitly given in words? Is it more effective for the veil to be short or long if you want to flirt with the help of it? I look forward to help from you. Many thanks.
 
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  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I believe it is a veil on a hat that comes down below the eyes, though I can't find an illustration to verify this. Hat veils are made out of net, so this covering is symbolic, not real.

    Here is a hat like the one I imagine she was wearing, only pink, as would be appropriate to a wedding.

    As I said, I can't find an illustration or description to confirm this impression.
     
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    FurryOne

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    a veil of flirtation might be very different from a flirtation veil -- this might be the solution to your puzzle.

    A flirtation veil would be a piece of very fine, thin cloth, lace, or netting, used for flirtation. I've never heard of such a thing.

    A veil of flirtation could be a figure of speech. A figurative veil can be anything that obscures vision, prevents understanding, covers up the truth.

    After the battle, the carnage was hidden by a veil of smoke.
    He tried to cover up his guilt with a veil of lies.
    She hated him, but she concealed her true feelings behind a veil of flirtation.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    It seems to me fairly certain that here we are talking about an article of clothing:
    a sister or a best friend in hot-pink peau de soie, a flirtation veil, a carnation nosegay.
    In fact, I found several references to "flirtation veil" on the internet. The problem was that none of them were descriptive; what they had in common was that they were worn by women when they were dressed up ~ at a wedding, or a fancy banquet.
     

    daoxunchang

    Senior Member
    Chinese China
    Yes, it's a piece of clothing. If it's worn at a wedding, I'm sure it cannot be too long.
    As to a "veil of flirtation" as a figure of speech, I found this phrase when I first searched on the Internet. As I remember it, the part related to my problem told something like the phrase "flirtation veil" came about after a writer used the other expression and it was really about a veil. But there was no more.

    Thank you two very much!
     
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