National Fist Bump Day
May 27, 2009 8:53 AM   Subscribe

National Fist Bump Day Introducing America's newest holiday: National Fist Bump Day.

Next Wednesday, June 3rd, marks the one-year anniversary of Barack and Michelle Obama's "fist bump heard 'round the world." Nearly a year later, "a group of like-minded people have gotten together to commemorate Obama's grand gesture, but also to take the fist bump to a higher level, one above partisan politics and social divides."

They are calling for everyone to "put aside their differences -- be they class, race, religion or values -- and show their respect with a little bump." Has the fist bump finally surpassed the high five?
posted by Cochise (43 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You mean national "Terrorist Fist Bump Day."
posted by Ironmouth at 8:55 AM on May 27, 2009 [8 favorites]

(imagine awsome ASCII pic here)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:57 AM on May 27, 2009

"Knockin' Knuckles for Knchange"? Really?

(In my household, we always just call it "giving some dap.")
posted by saulgoodman at 8:59 AM on May 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

Another Hallmark created holiday to sell greeting cards and Mylar balloons.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:59 AM on May 27, 2009

I'll pledge my sphincter to a cause like this.

Wait, you said fist bump day?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:01 AM on May 27, 2009

"Fist Bump?" Sealab 2021 had a different name for it<>.
posted by rahnefan at 9:04 AM on May 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:05 AM on May 27, 2009 [3 favorites]

Wait, you said fist bump day?

There's no apparent restriction on where those fists are bumping. Interperet to suit your needs.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:11 AM on May 27, 2009

saulgoodman- really!

It's always funny the way white folks co-opt something, then act as if it were something new:

"Looketh! The Natives are Embracing each other! We shall call it Torso Grappling!"
"Isn't that just a hug?!?"
"Silence Knave! Torso Grappling Day is underway! Our people shall derive much entertainments from this novel and exotic tradition!"
posted by yeloson at 9:13 AM on May 27, 2009 [5 favorites]

posted by hermitosis at 9:13 AM on May 27, 2009

saulgoodman: In my household, we always just call it "giving some dap."

Yeah, I think that we could also refer to that day as National Day We Learned that People in the Media Don't Know a Single Black Person.

"Fist bump"... holy moly... I'm from Iceland and I knew that it's called a dap or a pound.
posted by Kattullus at 9:14 AM on May 27, 2009 [5 favorites]

Out of everything in the media circus that followed, the New Yorker cover still pisses me off.
posted by cavalier at 9:19 AM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by Smart Dalek at 9:21 AM on May 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'm old-fashioned in that I usually stick to the Palm Bump with an occasional exuberant High Palm Bump.
posted by DU at 9:22 AM on May 27, 2009

The New Yorker cover was perfect: it made fun of everything stupid the right had brought up since Obama rose to prominence. And then people went ape-shit.
posted by chunking express at 9:22 AM on May 27, 2009 [4 favorites]

When did this start becoming a "fist bump?" Can there be any less or interesting a name for it? Everyone knows that it's either called "daps" or "punching it in," both of which sound awesome. "Fist bump" sounds like it was made up by a someone out to exploit a political agenda or something...
posted by orville sash at 9:24 AM on May 27, 2009

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posted by brain_drain at 9:26 AM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I will celebrate with a Psych marathon.
posted by HumanComplex at 9:28 AM on May 27, 2009

I still prefer to call it a rock star punch.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:33 AM on May 27, 2009

You mean national "Terrorist Fist Bump Day."

You mean national "Terrorist Fist Jab Day."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:40 AM on May 27, 2009

Awesome! I can think of a lot of people I want to bump my fist against. Repeatedly.
posted by Sailormom at 9:46 AM on May 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

You know who'd love this? The Wonder Twins.
posted by PlusDistance at 9:48 AM on May 27, 2009 [4 favorites]

"Giving dap" does not necessarily involve touching fists; I'm 35, grew up in Ft Lauderdale, and I remember hearing "dap" used for greeting rituals involving the hands long before touching fists became popular. And "pound" was typically used to describe a fist touch with a vertical movement rather than a horizontal one.

My 2.5 year old daughter calls it "knuckles". I know plenty of black people who call it "fist bump", I've heard it called "bumpin' knuckles" and "bump knucks." Point of fact, most of my friends and family don't call it anything at all or ever refer to it. I's just a form of greeting or celebration that occurs. As far as I know, there's no Council of Blackness that meets on a weekly basis and determines that anyone who doesn't use the correct term for a greeting ritual forfeits her or his seat on the Mothership.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:53 AM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

You know who'd love this? The Wonder Twins.

Get with the times, they look much more intense, thanks to Alex Ross. But still, no one wants to be Zan. Because water is never as impressive as any animal.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:57 AM on May 27, 2009

And where does this "dap" come from? The only thing that comes to mind for me is Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, the first release on Daptone Records.

Brilliant idea: co-opt National Fist Bump day to become a celebration of all things funk and soul. Too bad that album came out on September 2nd, 2002, instead of June 3rd. Eh, close enough.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:02 AM on May 27, 2009

But still, no one wants to be Zan. Because water is never as impressive as any animal.

Plus I heard he got thrown out of all the bars in Ft. Lauderdale for sneaking into wet T-shirt contests.
posted by PlusDistance at 10:06 AM on May 27, 2009

Knockin' Knuckles for Knchange

posted by ericbop at 10:09 AM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I've aways refered to it and heard it refered to as "givin' props" or "mad props".
posted by Sargas at 10:16 AM on May 27, 2009

I believe the proper term is "respeck knuckles".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:31 AM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Does the world really need an image of a fist punching another fist as a symbol of what America stands for?
posted by blue_beetle at 10:40 AM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Smart Dalek: "Obligatory."

"Let us mark this day with remembrance of who we are, and how far we have traveled."
posted by Rhaomi at 10:50 AM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

I guess the press already more than settled the matter in favor of the "fist bump" terminology during the campaign. But to me, that still comes across as a hell of a lot less elegant than other alternatives that were out there, so it's a shame that, in yet another VHS or Beta moment in America's cultural history, the weakest among multiple alternatives floated to the top.


But seriously--what's up with the "knocking knuckles for knchange" bit? Don't they know that in parts of the rural south, businesses run by Klan-friendly holdouts still use codes like that to signal their affiliation? No lie. Think about that the next time you eat at some out of the way little greasy spoon named "Kountry Kitchen Kupboard."
posted by saulgoodman at 11:00 AM on May 27, 2009

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posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:11 AM on May 27, 2009 [13 favorites]

Whoa, I read National Fist Day.

From now on, coffee first, then internet.
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:23 AM on May 27, 2009

One of my proudest accomplishments is teaching this to my 2 year old. We've gone on to advanced lessons though, currently we're at

me: "Shake"
her: "And Bake"
both: "And blow it up!"
[open bumped fist in the style of an explosion]

You know, like the song says - teach them well, and let them lead the way
posted by true at 11:42 AM on May 27, 2009

Dap stands for "Dignity and Pride" and originated in Long Binh jail in Vietnam where most of the prisoners were black and politically or socially inconvenient to the US. FWIW, according to Howard Zinn's "A People's History of American Empire".

Calling it a dap is a an American black thing but, since fists are part of being human, bumping them isn't always. The jury is still deliberating but for Barack Obama I'm willing to consider any fist bumping done by him as a dap at this point. That said, time will tell.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 11:58 AM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

You must be crazy letting these terorrist fist jabs onto American soil. We've got enough home-grown fist bumps as it is.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 12:00 PM on May 27, 2009

It's about time fisting became more mainstream.
posted by ooga_booga at 2:02 PM on May 27, 2009

Another name Fox news has for the gesture is fisting. Note the lovely photograph on the background. Have t-shirt.
posted by Anything at 2:37 PM on May 27, 2009

First time I ever saw it (noticed it) was on the old BBC sit-com The Good Life (aka Good Neighbours in America). Episode One. "Commute, commute."

Somehow, going from a pair of suburban hippies to a Washington power couple - well, the gesture has suddenly lost its charm.

Sad, really.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:10 PM on May 27, 2009

Bah! "Fist-bumping" indeed!

I find fist-bumping to be abhorrent and cringe when I see it. I don't know why I feel this way.

What I do know is that fist-bumps will not be initiated by me, and if I were to reciprocate in "bumping" or "fisting" *snorts*, it would be with bitterness.
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 4:15 AM on May 28, 2009

Homemade Interossiter: I feel the same about handshakes. Bah!

Unlike you, though, I know why I feel this way. It's because it's an abhorrent and superstitious custom, an insult to any half-sensible person's intelligence.

Obviously, I wouldn't be dumb enough to be caught unawares brazenly carrying my weapon in my right hand, like a dolt! That doesn't mean I'm not dangerous; it just means I keep my shiv tucked away somewhere securely out of sight until I can be sure it'll find its mark. Duh.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:37 AM on May 28, 2009

Don't like Obama, and thought the right-wing media frenzy over the "fist bump" was inane.

But: I love the "fist bump" as an alternative to shaking hands. I try to always do it INSTEAD of shaking hands, if I can get away with it. The reason: hygiene.

And FWIW -- I've always referring to it as "knuckle up."
posted by davidmsc at 8:28 PM on May 28, 2009

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