A Primer on the Fist Bump

Time looks at the history and meaning of Barack and Michelle's victory gesture
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 6, 2008 10:58 AM CDT
Morgan Pressel gets a celebratory fist bump from her caddy after sinking a hole-in-one.   (AP Photo/Daniel Miller)
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(Newser) – The now-famous fist bump shared by Barack and Michelle Obama on the night he claimed the Democratic nomination led Time on a search for the origins and cosmic relevance of the gesture. It proved tricky: For instance, some say the bump—a rough evolution goes handshake, "gimme five" palm slap, high five, fist bump—started in the NBA in the 1970s, while others insist it's from the Wonder Twins of the old Superfriends cartoon.

Time notes that handshake-hating germophobes may play a role in its popularity. Check out Howie Mandel, for instance, on Deal or No Deal. "Gestures, particularly ones that are recent, haven't been studied that much," said one expert on such things. "It was an elegant little non-verbal moment and it gave us a view into their relationship.” Adds Obama: “It captures what I love about my wife.”