Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Fist bump history -- Wonder Twins?

I'm not really a student of popular culture, but (like everyone) I thought the news coverage of the Obamas' fist bump was sadly unhip. The gesture's been around for years, and I thought was well-known to, well, everyone.

But, it wasn't around when I was a kid, to my knowledge. So where'd it come from? When did it beat out high fives? I was thinking it was a football thing (for a while, some teams were hitting ulnas, kinda like a high five that makes an "X" shape).

But there's an obvious precedent for the fist bump -- "Wonder Twin Powers: Activate!" Other than geeky nostalgia, anyone know of either (a) fist bump gestures preceding the Superfriends cartoon or (b) more justified sources of the fist bump?

As a postscript, a fist bump of sorts was used in the short-lived Thing cartoon ("Thing rings, do your thing!"), but that came after Superfriends and the Thing was fist bumping himself.

Ask, and I receive! I see now (on Boomerang) that "Shazzan" apparently had rings that were put together, fist-bump style, to call the genie. I wonder if some Hanna-Barbera writer liked the imagery, and reiterated with the Wonder Twins?

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Thalia said...

I was thinking of Shazam! :)

And I agree.. if *I've* known about the "bump" for years now, it is definitely a known pop culture reference!

Bob said...

Clearly, the "Shaza-" sound is very popular in cartoon literature. :)

Fist bumping may be more directly related to "dap greeting", which is described on
wikipedia better than I can -- once you read it, you'll immediately recognize it from your summer camp days.