Pound hug

Buck Showalter (left) engages Matt Wieters in a pound hug.

The pound hug (also referred to as a pound shake, hip-hop hug, one-armed hug, dude hug, cootie hug, homie hug, shug, hetero hug, bro-grab, bro hug, brah hug, thug hug, man-hug, or a daps) is a stylized greeting, exclusively performed between two people, that consists of a combination of a handshake and one-armed hug. Unlike the traditional hug, which symbolically and effectively removes interpersonal barriers and unites the two persons embracing, the pound hug—performed by keeping the right hand locked in handshake while the left arm wraps around the other's shoulder—interposes the obstacle of the two right arms to the joining of the two bodies. The origin of this hug is not clear.

Cultural aspects

Greetings will vary from culture to culture.

Mark Anthony Neal, Duke University professor of black popular culture, states that when with men, he'll use a certain kind of hug – as long as the other guy also is black. "If I was greeting a white guy, I would probably never go for the hug, it would always immediately be the handshake," says Neal. "In the case of black males, particularly around my age, 40, it's the hip-hop hug: a handshake, you pull yourselves together, and you bump."



The main point of this hug is to assert one's masculinity, claims Kory Floyd of the University of Arizona. He is led to this conclusion by what he calls the "A-frame" configuration of the hug: the bodies do not touch except at the shoulders, which only touch briefly, as another of the characteristics of the hip-hop hug is its brevity, usually lasting for a second or less. This hug is generally not used in environments which are seen to intrinsically validate one's masculinity, such as sports, where traditional full-body bear hugs are common.

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