Fist Bump

Geoffrey S. Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Wed Jun 11 16:19:26 UTC 2008

Grant Barrett wrote:

> > A friend who works in television had an occasion to have a good chat
> > with Quincy Jones. At the end of it Quincy put up his fist for a fist
> > bump. Not knowing any better, Friend, who is short and white and not
> > very soulful, grabbed the fist from the front, like you would grab the
> > rung on a ladder, and shook it.
> >
> > I'm only a little less white than that.
In my IT life I work closely with an African American colleague who's
head of IT Security here.  He started offering these a couple of months
ago as we converged on some solutions to security policy problems ('It's
time for one of these..')  Fortunately I knew enough to meet his fist
half-way rather than anything else silly I might have done.
Now we do them when we finish some particular task, but I don't do them
with anyone else.
On the other hand, lots of us, black, white and whatever, do 'high
fives'.  Are they still used in African American circles?  Or have they
become too common to serve as in-group markers?


Geoffrey S. Nathan Faculty Liaison, Computing and Information Technology,

and Associate Professor of English, Linguistics Program

Phone Numbers (313) 577-1259 or (313) 577-8621

Wayne State University

Detroit, MI, 48202

The American Dialect Society -

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