Created By: LORd on April 30, 2010 Last Edited By: SquealingSandry on April 30, 2010
Troped

Forearm Shake

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Final trope title will be Handshake Substitute.
"Verily, we are too awesome to exchange handgrips, my brother!"

When two people meet formally for the first time, it is customary for them to shake hands. The handshake is initiated when the two hands touch, immediately. It is commonly done upon meeting, greeting, parting, offering congratulations, expressing gratitude, or completing an agreement. In sports or other competitive activities, it is also done as a sign of good sportsmanship. Its purpose is to convey trust, balance, and equality.

This trope is about when, instead of the usual handshake as a greeting gesture, the characters use a variation, each of which has its own connotations. Most of these variations are less formal than a handshake, but some retain the formality. While mostly a Western Media trope, it has found its way into eastern media on occasion.
Forearm Clasp: "You are my equal, sir, and I honor/greet/salute you."--This is the variation closest to an actual handshake, and is quite possibly its precursor. Instead of exchanging handgrips, the two clasp each others' forearms, just below the elbow. It is considered archaic and often 'knightly', the kind of greeting warriors of old gave each other.

[[folder:Forearm Clasp]] [[/folder]]

Fist Bump: "Hey, man, how's it going?" "Pretty cool, pretty cool."--A less excitable version, this substitute is decidedly casual. It's somewhere in between a handshake and a high-five in meaning, combining greeting with familiarity and victory. Two people pump their fists against each other, but like with a too-strong grip in a handshake, bumping too hard is considered rude and needlessly confrontational. Bumping other parts of the arm together instead of the fist is also acceptable, such as in the trope picture. Colloquially known as the brofist, though this term has a relatively different significance. A brofist is better defined as a light touch of the fists or the knuckles, and it is used more frequently as a commemorative or celebratory gesture in any situation that appeals to the two bros' sensibilities.

[[folder: Fist Bump]]
  • In Megas XLR, Coop and Jamie combine this with a Dap Greeting and "The Horns" whenever a battle is won.
[[/folder]]

Dap Greeting: "You know who I am, right?" "Yeah, I know."--A more 'fun' version. Though it can refer to many kinds of greetings involving hand contact, dap is best known as a complicated routine of shakes, slaps, snaps, and other contact that must be known completely by both parties involved. Often includes a Pound Hug.

[[folder: Dap Greeting]]

[[/folder]]

Secret Handshake: "Prove you are one of us."--A combination of serious and extremely casual. A Secret Handshake is basically a Dap Greeting, except that the knowledge of how to perform the specific greeting is limited to a certain group or brotherhood. Often seen in fraternity initiations.

[[folder: Secret Handshake]]

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Pound Hug: "Hey there, my brother."--See that trope for specific examples.

Peace Sign: "Hi! Aren't you happy? I'm happy!"--Falling heavily out of favor recently, the Peace Sign is a leftover from the 'hippie days'. It involves making a V with one's index and middle finger while curling the remaining digits, and then holding the hand up near the shoulder. The "V for Victory" variation--in which the hand is held out triumphantly, similar to Giving Someone the Pointer Finger--is far more common in Anime than in western media.

[[folder:Peace Sign]]

[[/folder]]

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Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • April 28, 2010
    Duncan
    Often used in Shakespeare plays, especially those set in Ancient Greece, to give a sense of antiquity,
  • April 28, 2010
    Chabal2
    Ben Hur and Massala do it in the eponymous movie, which really dosn't help to quench the Ho Yay rumors. But it does look so manly...
  • April 28, 2010
    LORd
    Hmmm, the name could be mistaken for that OTHER gesture I've seen sometimes where two people grab each other's forearms and shake them. Elbow Hook perhaps? There's got to be some quasi-official name for this.
  • April 28, 2010
    Chabal2
    ^ Aren't we talking about the same thing? The Ben Hur one is grab other guy around forearm, he does the same, squeeze.
  • April 28, 2010
    LORd
    No, what I was getting at was something like this, only the forearms interlock instead of elbow-bump. But I suppose what you're getting at is more widespread...
  • April 28, 2010
    Game_Fan
    My friends call this The Man Shake.
  • April 28, 2010
    SquealingSandry
    @Chabal2: It's called a forearm clasp, if we're thinking about the same thing... Clasping forearms was the tradition long before shaking hands, especially in the middle ages in Europe. A really good example comes in the "Knight of the Round Table Singalong" from Quest For Camelot. It was a show of strength, trust, comradeship, and respect. The "knock the forearms/elbows against each other" thing in the picture LO Rd posted is a more rogueish, less formal, more cheerful thing, not meant to be solemn or serious. Kind of a "Dude, we are so awesome we don't do the handshake thing.", versus the Forearm Clasp which is a "You are my equal, sir, and I greet/honor/salute you."
  • April 28, 2010
    Desolator22
    A recent Budwieser commercial includes this in it's list of possible greetings at a bar.
  • April 29, 2010
    Chabal2
    I see. Would it be worth splitting the two (in which case call this one Forearm Bump), or having two categories, since the point of both is a manlier alternative to the standard handshake?
  • April 29, 2010
    LORd
    Forearm Bump would be pretty worthless as standalone considering that neither I nor anyone else seems to recall specific examples of it, but I was wondering if we could do with something analogous to Strange Salute -- Cool Handshake or whatnot, an article on various different friendly hand gestures and their usage in media. I'm just not sure where to draw the line -- would the brofist be too People Sit On Chairs? Would high five count?
  • April 29, 2010
    SquealingSandry
    @LO Rd: How about Handshake Substitute? It's an excellent idea you've given, but they're not really handshakes, by definition, while the examples in Strange Salute are all still salutes.

    And of course, Handshake Substitute (or whatever it ends up being called), would have Brofist, Fist Bump, Forearm Clasp, Secret Handshake, Dap Greeting, etc. Here's a good article on handshakes from The Other Wiki. See the bottom of the page for other greetings.
  • April 30, 2010
    LORd
    Handshake Substitute sounds good, I think. Do you think we should gather some examples first, or does someone feel confident about writing this article already? It's Up For Grabs, but I think I can launch this as well if necessary.
  • April 30, 2010
    mack
    • Done in Predator.
  • April 30, 2010
    SquealingSandry
    @LO Rd: I can re-write the description if you want, using the Other Wiki for reference, and the Brofist picture as the image.
  • April 30, 2010
    LORd
    Sure, go ahead.
  • April 30, 2010
    LORd
    Combined brofist and fist bump because imo they are largely the same. The act depicted in the trope image is yet another variant, but I'd say it's not distinctive enough to warrant its own list.
  • April 30, 2010
    SquealingSandry
    Will do.
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