Hi! It’s Catherine here. The other half of C.D. Hersh.
For quite a few years, we’ve been watching the Bachelor television show. Yes, we know 99 percent of the “in love” couples at the end of each season don’t ever make it down the aisle. Yes, we know it’s a lot of drama and cat fights. Yes, we know it’s probably all hokey. But deep down we are romantics who hope that some lucky couple will find true love.
During the Bachelor Sean’s season, he had had a couple of romantic dates planned for his ladies. On week two there was a group date photo shoot with Harlequin, one of the most well known publishers of romance novels. On week three Sean took Lesley Murphy to set a new Guinness World record for the longest on-screen kiss. The old record was 3 minutes and 15 seconds. Sean and Lesley set a new record with a live audience cheering them on.
Watching that long on-screen kiss made me curious. If two people who barely know each other can lock lips for over 3 minutes and 16 seconds, how long can a couple who are in love kiss? So, I did some research from a purely writer’s point of view. I set the timer and read a love scene from a romance book for 3 minutes and 16 seconds.
If you were reading a 3 minute 16 second love scene (referencing kissing only here) it would take approximately two pages of lip-locking description to break the world record, assuming you are not a speed reader. That’s an estimated 600 words in Times New Roman font. When I searched my computer’s thesaurus for alternate words for kiss and kissing—because you would surely not want to use the same verb each time you mentioned kiss—I came up empty handed. Roget’s Thesaurus netted me a measly six synonyms: smack, buss, osculate (caress), brush, graze, and shave (touch). What shave has to do with kissing, aside from whisker burn, I have no idea. Roget forgot an obvious synonym, in my humble opinion—smooch.
On the hunt now, because I couldn’t believe how few alternate words I’d found for kiss, I went to my Romance Writer’s Phrase Book, by Jean Kent and Candace Shelton, where I found one hundred and five kissing related phrases. However, only 61 were suitable for use in 3 minutes and 16 seconds of lip-locking, record-breaking kissing description. To win the record both parties’ lips must be touching the whole time, and some of the phrases in the book involved kissing other body parts.
Next I did an internet search for synonyms for kiss and kissing. Here’s a few more that I came up with: snog (British slang for kiss), neck, canoodle, peck, suck face, make out, spoon, get to first base, french, plant one on, yankee dime/nickel (a favorite of Catherine’s parents), bill and coo, cupcake, spark, make whoopee, hooch up, and mwah (onmatopoeia for the kissing sound).
The next step in the research is to write a 600 word kissing scene. Better yet, I think I’ll set the timer and create my own Guinness World Record for kissing the other half of C.D. Hersh. That’s bound to be more fun than struggling to write 600 kissing related words on the computer. ☺
Have you kissed someone you love today?