A fist bump (also called dap, pound, fist pound, bro fist, spudding, fo' knucks, box, Bust, pound dogg, props, Bones, or respect knuckles) is a gesture similar in meaning to a handshake or high five. A fist bump can also be a symbol of giving respect. It can be followed by various other hand and body gestures and may be part of a dap greeting. It is commonly used in baseball as a form of celebration with teammates, and with opposition players at the end of a game.
The gesture is performed when two participants each form a closed fist with one hand and then lightly tap the front of their fists together. The participant's fists may be either vertically oriented (perpendicular to the ground) or horizontally oriented. Unlike the standard handshake, which is typically performed only with each participants' right hand, a fist bump may be performed with participants using either hand.
The fist bump symbol is informally written in electronic text by using the Japanese katakana alphabet YO, the equals sign and the English capital "E": '=ƎE='.
Fist bumping first appeared in America in the 1940's, as biker gangs were becoming popular in southwestern areas of the United States. Motorcyclists sitting next to each other at traffic lights would be unable to perform a proper handshake, due to riding stance, so a quick bump of closed fists was an easier way to greet a fellow rider at a stop. The first documented instance of the fist bump occurred among ancient Greek charioteers as a friendly greeting after finishing a race.
According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz, the recent recurrence of the fist bump was brought about by baseball player Stan Musial. Time magazine wonders if it evolved from the handshake and the high-five. They cite knuckle bumping in the 1970s with basketball player Baltimore Bullets guard Fred Carter. Others claim the Wonder Twins, minor characters in the 1970s Hanna-Barbera superhero cartoon Super Friends, who touched knuckles and cried "Wonder Twin powers, activate!" were the originators. However, the "fist bump" or "pound" can easily be traced as far back as the late 1800s and early 1900s to the boxer's handshake as a way to greet when hands are gloved. In fact, the fist bump's origins may well lie in the animal kingdom as the gesture is natural behaviour observed in primates, according to a book published by Margaret Power in 1991.
On June 3, 2008, Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama fist bumped during a televised presidential campaign speech in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the gesture became known as "the fist bump heard 'round the world". Fox News host E. D. Hill paraphrased an anonymous internet comment in asking whether the gesture was a "terrorist fist jab", after which her contract was not renewed.
In light of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the dean of medicine at the University of Calgary, Tomas Feasby, suggested that the fist bump may be a "nice replacement of the handshake" in an effort to prevent transmission of the virus.
- Myron Lowery, acting as mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, fist bumped the Dalai Lama during the latter's visit to Memphis.
- U.S. President Barack Obama been reported to be a common user of the fist bump when greeting others.
- The crew of STS-135, the last Space Shuttle flight, did a round of fist bumps on the flight deck shortly before launch.
- Howie Mandel often uses the fist bump, especially due to suffering from OCD.
- Dion gave Paul Simon a fist bump on stage during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 25th Anniversary concert.
- "90 Things to Love About Stan The Man"
- Stephey, M.J. (June 5, 2008). "A Brief History of the Fist Bump". Time magazine. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
- Boxing Handshake
- Power, Margaret (1991). The Egalitarians – Human and Chimpanzee: An Anthropological View of Social Organization. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-40016-3.
- Argetsinger, Amy; Roberts, Roxanne (June 5, 2008). "The Fist Couple: Giving a Big Bump to Authenticity". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Beam, Christopher (July 14, 2008). "The 'Terrorist Fist Jab' and Me". Slate. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Fox News anchor calls the Obamas' fist pound 'a terrorist fist jab'". Think Progress. Retrieved June 10, 2008.
- "Fox News Changes: 'Terrorist Fist Jab' Anchor E.D. Hill Loses Her Show"
- Fist bump can pound out flu transmission
- "Dalai Lama starts US tour with fist-bump". ABC News (Australia). September 23, 2009. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- "The Fist Bumper in Chief". Politico. August 23, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
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