Challenges (teasing, questions, qualifying, feigned disinterest) serve to increase tension and test intention and congruity.
Flirting behavior varies across cultures due to different modes of social etiquette, such as how closely people should stand (proxemics), how long to hold eye contact, how much touching is appropriate and so forth. For example, ethologist Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt found that in places as different as Africa and North America, women exhibit similar flirting behavior, such as a prolonged stare followed by a head tilt away with a little smile. The Oxford English Dictionary (first edition) associates it with such onomatopoeic words as flit and flick, emphasizing a lack of seriousness; on the other hand, it has been attributed to the old French conter fleurette, which means "to (try to) seduce" by the dropping of flower petals, that is, "to speak sweet nothings".
In 1592 the future King Henry IV lived in Nerac in southern France.
He had an affair (one of reportedly about 75) with the gardener's daughter Fleurette.
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The story became know across France as a tale of the rich and poor, the powerful and the powerless.
'conter Fleurette' became a phrase that you might use when a young girl is discarded by a lover.