FW: Dap (Dignity And Pride?); Fist Bump; Pound or Fist Pound

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Jul 6 21:29:24 UTC 2008

On Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 4:59 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> "Dap" as a term for "well-dressed, sharply-dressed," an obvious clip
> of "dapper," has been around since God only knows (cf. HDAS). "Jump
> sharp, jump dap" = "get dressed up for an evening out," are likewise
> two days older than water.
> OTOH, the "dap" which is a "fist bump" is derived from a clip of
> "bappin' 'n' dappin'," a term for the multitudinous manual moves and
> gestures, among which was the "dap" or fist bump, that had replaced
> the simple giving of skin by ca.1967, and which probably originated
> among black GI's in Viet-Nam, it being the case that black 'Nam vets
> were the first dudes that I personally saw bap and dap, as part of the
> show put on at the First Watts Festival.

Another conjecture is mentioned by Barry's Vietnam-era sources:

>>> Daily Review, The (Newspaper) - April 25, 1971, Hayward, California
>>> Subscription - Daily Review, The - NewspaperArchie - Apr 25, 1971
>>> The dap, the black power hand- shake, is de rigeur when brothers meet.
>>> ... The blacks arrived in hooch doing the dap from the Vietnamese word
>>> for beautiful ...
>>> ...
>>> Black Power Group in Vietnam Fights Heroin Addiction, the Enemy Within
>>> $3.95 - New York Times - Aug 12, 1971
>>> Dap (Vietnamese for beautiful) began as a slapping handshake. once,
>>> and then turn him in. 'If he says to me, why shouldn't ihe do it, the
>>> whites are pushing ...

The Vietnamese word for "beautiful" is "đẹp" (not sure how those
diacritics will show up):


--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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