Fist bump

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A fist bump
In this diagram, fist a and fist b come together and "bump".

A fist bump (also called power five,[1] dap, fist pound, or brofist) 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 and hockey as a form of celebration with teammates, and with opposition players at the end of a game. In cricket it is a common celebratory gesture between batting partners.


Merriam Webster Dictionary: a gesture in which two people bump their fists together (as in greeting or celebration)[2]

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=.[citation needed]


According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz, the recent recurrence of the fist bump was brought about by baseball player Stan Musial in the 1950's, who adopted it as a way to avoid picking up germs.[3] 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.[1] 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.[4]

In light of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the Dean of Medicine at the University of Calgary, Tom Feasby, suggested that the fist bump may be a "nice replacement of the handshake" in an effort to prevent transmission of the virus.[5] Similarly, a medical study has found that fist bumps and high fives spread fewer germs than handshakes.[6][7]

Other instances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Stephey, M.J. (June 5, 2008). "A Brief History of the Fist Bump". Time magazine. Retrieved June 8, 2008. 
  2. ^ "fist bump | a gesture in which two people bump their fists together (as in greeting or celebration)". Retrieved 2015-04-29. 
  3. ^ Lee Enterprises. "90 things to love about The Man". Archived from the original on 2012-10-09. Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  4. ^ Power, Margaret (1991). The Egalitarians – Human and Chimpanzee: An Anthropological View of Social Organization. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-40016-3.
  5. ^ Fist bump can pound out flu transmission
  6. ^ Los Angeles Times (July 28, 2014). "Fist bumps, high-fives spread fewer germs than handshakes, study says". Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  7. ^ ABC News. "Health News & Articles - Healthy Living - ABC News". ABC News. Retrieved June 7, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Dalai Lama starts US tour with fist-bump". ABC News (Australia). September 23, 2009. Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  9. ^ "The Fist Bumper in Chief". Politico. August 23, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Betty White Learns From Howie Mandel: Fist Bump Lessons On 'Off Their Rockers'". Huffington Post. February 2, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Germs: 'No Deal' for Host Howie Mandel". ABC News. November 24, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 

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