== Connotations ==
Patting someone on their back or shoulder is often done as a gesture of encouragement or [[praise]] ("you can do it" or "well done"). Patting someone on their shoulder, arm or thigh is occasionally done to get their attention, e.g. when they can't hear you. Parents or elder siblings often pat little children on their bottom when they send them off to go somewhere, e.g. to bed.
Because it is so very light, a pat has little or no connotations with [[punishment]] or [[violence]] — except that a pat on the bottom, because of the location, might be symbolic for (or a reminder of) [[spanking]].