Alternatives to Waving

a pleasant nod and smileQ Dear Miss Abigail:

Should one wave when meeting someone, or should there only be an exchange of waves at a parting?


A Dear Confused:

Although nothing I found specifically addressing waving, the following quotes touch upon general rules for greeting others in public. They’re from a1956 book written by Frances Benton titled Complete Etiquette. The first is a tip for men; the second offers an alternative to waving for women. Why not try a bow, the next time? Sure would get your friend’s attention!

1956: Manners

Making a Woman Conspicuous. A well-mannered man does nothing to make a woman conspicuous in public. He doesn’t talk loudly or intimately with her, or call her name aloud across a lobby. If you want to hail a friend across the street, cross and catch up with her so you can do so without announcing her name to the whole block.

Bowing. Bowing for a woman does not, of course, mean a formal deep bend. It is, rather, a pleasant nod and smile, accompanied by a slight bend forward from the waist. Bowing should be a friendly gesture rather than a stiff one. You would use it greeting friends across a room, and some naturally graceful women combine it pleasantly with shaking hands. The only time a woman makes a deep bow is when being presented to a high church or state official.

Source: Benton, Frances. Complete Etiquette. New York: Random House, 1956.
~ pp. 8-9, 4-5 ~