Fist Bump Making Inroads In Business World

08/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • USA Today

The handshake may always have a firm grip on business, but the fist bump is making inroads -- albeit in the face of some resistance.

"I have not encountered a fist bump and would judge anyone who tried it as a total redneck," says Dr. Grace Keenan, medical director of Nova Medical and Urgent Care Center in Ashburn, Va. "I hope that it never is seen as a replacement for a handshake in the business community."

But Scott Jones, CEO of ChaCha, a search engine company in Carmel, Ind., says he now has a business fist-bump encounter about monthly. David Lingafelter, president of faucet-maker Moen in North Olmsted, Ohio, says he is fist-bumped about twice monthly, where it was non-existent a couple of years ago.

So far, executives say, it is exchanged almost exclusively among male business associates who are otherwise friends, or in informal settings such as the end of a golf round. Fist bumping, or two people tapping fists lightly, has a long way to go to unseat the handshake, a gesture that goes back to medieval times when opponents used it to indicate that they were friendly and unarmed.

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