Fist-bumping: A History

Do people still fist-bump?  I’d like to think so, but I rarely see it done anymore (is it because I’m white or have no friends?).  But, I remember it well.  

There are a few different reactions to someone extending a fist for bumping purposes.

1. The older generation who just look at it and don’t understand what to do.

2. The slightly less old who sort of understand, but slap it like it’s an outstretched hand.  (To be fair, some of them might be doing it as a joke.)

3. The confused face of a white person that seems to say, “You think I’m cool enough to fist-bump?”

4. The nonchalant return bump, almost as if they’re too cool to bump.

I remember when it was more dynamic.  One would hold out a fist and two would knock the bottom of the fist onto the top of one’s fist, then one would do the same maneuver, then both would bump knuckles.  Ah, the good old days, before laziness set it.

Then, there was the wave of bumping modification.  People would “blow it up”.  Do they still do that?  I’m definitely not on the leading edge of cool.  But there was also those who performed a “squid”, a sneak attack where they grabbed the other person’s fist after offering their for bump.  Similar to the “swan” for high-fives where one pulls back the arm and drops the hand into the shape of a swan’s neck.

But, I’m curious, what happens when two people try to squid?  Do they end up a crumpled mass of jammed fingers?  Do they end up holding hands?  Hmm…might be something to try on Valentine’s Day…  


About bkreuch

I like to read, I like to write, and I like to make people laugh.
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2 Responses to Fist-bumping: A History

  1. brennagrimes says:

    I’ve totally had #3 to happen to me before. But only because the fist bumpee didn’t seem cool enough to be fist bumping, so it caught me off-guard.

  2. I still do the squid… I call it the “rejection squid” and usually try and make squid noises. Except I’ve been told I sound like a dying cat.

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