[Ads-l] Pswaydo-BE

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 5 09:27:23 EDT 2017


When I was a big baseball fan in the '50s and '60s, the usual
congratulatory gesture (say, from the next batter for a home run hitter
when he reached the plate) was a firm handshake and often a back or
shoulder pat.

I don't recall noticing any high fives in the 1977 or '78 World Series
(obviously an unreliable memory, but I can guarantee that I didn't hear the
term at that time). Suddenly, ca1981, they (and the term) were everywhere.

JL

On Wed, Oct 4, 2017 at 9:04 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

> > On Oct 4, 2017, at 8:16 PM, Baker, John <JBAKER at STRADLEY.COM> wrote:
> >
> > I don’t know that there is any solid evidence to support the widespread
> conjecture that shaking hands derives from a demonstration that the hands
> do not hold weapons.  After all, one would think that this could be better
> shown by holding the hands open.  Still, the historical evidence does
> support the view that handshaking was used particularly to show that former
> or potential enemies had reached a state of amity, so it does have some
> plausibility to it.
> >
> > There is no similar historical record for high fives, or for that matter
> for low fives.  High fives come from the sports world; they have always
> been a symbol that the two people are on the same team and typically
> celebrate anticipated or realized successes.  Thus, the absence of weapons
> is already assumed.  I have always supposed that the “five” refers to the
> five fingers, but don’t have any specific support for that.
> >
> > Can you explain why high fives are okay, but low fives are not, under a
> sexual-harassment policy?
> >
> >
> > John Baker
>
> An subtly off-color joke, I presume, intended to evoke sniggers.
>
> Besides high fives, low fives, and giving/slipping someone five, there’s
> also hanging five, equally digital but usually involving toes.
>
> LH
> >
> >
> >
> > From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
> Behalf Of James A. Landau
> > Sent: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 2:49 PM
> > To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> > Subject: Re: Pswaydo-BE
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, 3 Oct 2017 11:20:29 Zone + 0000 Margaret Lee <mlee303 at YAHOO.COM
> <mailto:mlee303 at YAHOO.COM>> wrote:
> >
> >> My research does include rock 'n' roll but not cakewalk. My early
> >> research focused primarily on occurrences of black words and phrases in
> >> the print media. Now my focus is on electronic media, particularly
> >> cable news and commercials. <snip>
> >> There are also non-verbal communication terms that have crossed over:
> >> fist bump, chest bump, high-five.
> >
> > I have a question about not the name but the high-five _gesture_.
> > I have heard that shaking hands originated as a way to say "I greet you
> as a friend, and I am showing it by placing my weapon-less dominant hand in
> your hand".
> > Is this correct?
> > If you think about it, the high-five appears to serve the same purpose:
> "I greet you as a friend, and I am showing it by placing my weapon-less
> dominant hand against your hand."
> > Anyone agree?
> >
> > Does anyone know the origin of the _name_ "high-five"? "High" is
> obvioius, "five" is less obvious (because all five fingers are involved?)
> >
> > Then there was the manager who was lecturing his employees on the
> company's sexual-harassment policy and summed it up in one sentence: "High
> fives are OK, but low fives are not."
> >
> > - Jim Landau
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>



-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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