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

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 7 01:07:46 UTC 2008

Ben, I'm a Viet-Nam-era source. Indeed, I'm an official, Viet-Nam-era
veteran. It's only that I was (un)lucky enough to be stationed in

The "(un)" refers to the fact that, at the beginning of the Viet-Nam
(I'm using the hyphenated spelling merely because that was the one
used back in the day) era, members of the Security Agency who were
stationed in Saigon wore civvies and lived in five-star hotels as part
of their "cover." (Though I don't believe that the V-C were ever dumb
enough to buy that.)

This benny induced a friend whom I recall only by his soubriquet, "The
Southern Gentleman" - he was from Albany, GA - to catch-22 himself. In
order to qualify to apply for transfer to Saigon from West Berlin,
which really *sucked* after The Wall - still only barbed wire, at that
time - went up, he had to "extend" - surge as an individual, so to
speak - his assignment to Berlin. Then, his application to transfer to
Saigon was rejected, leaving him stuck in Berlin longer than he would
have been, had he not tried to get out.

It was probably just as well. There's an old Army proverb:

"There are only two good duty stations - the one that you came from
and the one that you want to go to."

I.e., wherever you may be stationed, you're going to wish that you
were stationed someplace else.



On Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 5:29 PM, Benjamin Zimmer
<bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: FW: Dap (Dignity And Pride?); Fist Bump; Pound or Fist Pound
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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):
> http://vdict.com/%C4%91%E1%BA%B9p,2,0,0.html
> http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C4%91%E1%BA%B9p
> http://vi.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C4%91%E1%BA%B9p
> --Ben Zimmer
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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