physiological response to various emotions

Blushing is the involuntary reddening of a person's face due to embarrassment or emotional stress, though it has been known to come from being lovestruck, or from some kind of romantic stimulation. It is thought that blushing is the result of an overactive sympathetic nervous system. Severe blushing is common in people who suffer social anxiety in which the person experiences extreme and persistent anxiety in social and performance situations.


  • An Arab, by his earnest gaze,
    Has clothed a lovely maid with blushes;
    A smile within his eyelids plays
    And into words his longing gushes.
    • William R. Alger, "Love Sowing and Reaping Roses", Poetry of the Orient (1883), p. 295.
  • Girls blush, sometimes, because they are alive,
    Half wishing they were dead to save the shame.
    The sudden blush devours them, neck and brow;
    They have drawn too near the fire of life, like gnats,
    And flare up bodily, wings and all.
  • I pity bashful men, who feel the pain
    Of fancied scorn and undeserved disdain,
    And bear the marks upon a blushing face,
    Of needless shame, and self-impos'd disgrace.
  • Bello è il rossore, ma è incommodo qualche volta.
    • The blush is beautiful, but it is sometimes inconvenient.
    • Carlo Goldoni, Pamela (c. 1750), I. 3.
  • The apple blossoms' shower of pearl,
    The pear tree’s rosier hue,
    As beautiful as woman's blush,
    As evanescent too.
    • Letitia Elizabeth Landon, The London Literary Gazette (5th April 1823), 'April'. Also included in The Vow of the Peacock (1835)
  • Such was the colour—when her cheek
    Spoke what the lip might never speak.
    The crimson flush which could confess
    All that we hoped—but dared not guess.
    That blush which through the world is known
    To love, and to the rose alone—
  • I will go wash;
    And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
    Whether I blush or no.
  • By noting of the lady I have mark'd
    A thousand blushing apparitions
    To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames.
    In angel whiteness beat away those blushes.
  • Where now I have no one to blush with me,
    To cross their arms and hang their heads with mine.
  • Two red fires in both their faces blazed;
    She thought he blush'd, * * *
    And, blushing with him, wistly on him gazed.
  • The man that blushes is not quite a brute.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VII, line 496.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 73-74.
  • So sweet the blush of bashfulness,
    E'en pity scarce can wish it less!
    • Lord Byron, Bride of Abydos (1813), Canto 1, Stanza 8.
  • Blushed like the waves of hell.
  • 'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone, which fades so fast,
    But the tender bloom of heart is gone, ere youth itself be past.
  • Pure friendship's well-feigned blush.
    • Lord Byron, Stanzas to Her who can Best Understand Them, Stanza 12.
  • We griev'd, we sigh'd, we wept; we never blushed before.
    • Abraham Cowley, Discourse concerning the Government of Oliver Cromwell, Works, p. 60. (Ed. 1693). Quoted in house of Commons by Sir Robert Peel repelling an attack by William Cobbett.
  • Once he saw a youth blushing, and addressed him, "Courage, my boy; that is the complexion of virtue."
  • A blush is no language: only a dubious flag-signal which may mean either of two contradictories.
  • The rising blushes, which her cheek o'er-spread,
    Are opening roses in the lily's bed.
  • Blushing is the colour of virtue.
  • Such a blush
    In the midst of brown was born,
    Like red poppies grown with corn.
  • Les hommes rougissent moins de leur crimes que de leurs faiblesses et de leur vanité.
    • Men blush less for their crimes than for their weaknesses and vanity.
    • Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, II.
  • L'innocence à rougir n'est point accoutumée.
    • Innocence is not accustomed to blush.
    • Molière, Don Garcie de Navarre, II. 5.
  • While mantling on the maiden's cheek
    Young roses kindled into thought.
  • From every blush that kindles in thy cheeks,
    Ten thousand little loves and graces spring
    To revel in the roses.
  • Yet will she blush, here be it said,
    To hear her secrets so bewrayed.
  • Erubuit: salva res est.
    • He blushes: all is safe.
    • Terence, Adelphi, IV. 5. 9.

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