The hand fan came from the east through southern Europe here. In Spain, el abanico is still popular and is used as the Flamenco. A fan- dance is performed in various cultures with one or more fans. In the 30s, Sally Rand was popular with her performances.

The hand fan was for ages used by (constricted and richly dressed) women to wave themselves coolness. Tended to be valuable objects in a variety of materials that were also used to transmit messages. The fan against your right cheek means: yes, left: no. Right eye: I want to make a date. Fan completely open: wait for me. Closed to your heart: you like me? Semi-open impeller for lips: you may kiss me. Against the right shoulder or slide closed trough the hand: I do not want you. Touch the top of the fan with a finger: I want to talk to you. But who understands, in our sms – era any longer fans?

In a metaphorical form synonyms for a fan can be: range, choice, and palette.