Fist pounds

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Most people are aware of the basic methods of greeting an acquaintance: the handshake, the hug, the man-hug, the high-five, and the chest bump are among the most popular. No greeting, however, has the infinite variation and accompanying delight of the Fist Pound. Here are instructions for executing the most interesting and gratifying pounds known to man. Sweet video demonstrations are available for the visually oriented.

Breaking the Pound Barrier

Fists approach at a moderate speed and brake to the reduced velocity of a bullet in the Matrix at a distance of 8 inches. Continue the slow approach to a separation of 2 inches, at which time both participants make a "boom" or "whoosh" sound as the fists accelerate, collide, and recoil. The hands should open up in the recoil.

Pound of Flesh

This starts as a two-fisted pound with fists at shoulder height. After contact, the fists should remain in place as participants execute a manly chest bump.

Pound of Music

Begin with a regular right-hand pound, and lock right arms with the other participant. Spin clockwise 180 degrees (360 for added flare), then face each other pound left fists, join left arms and repeat counter-clockwise. Singing is mandatory, though the Austrian garb is optional.


Initiate a fist pound at mouth height. During contact, move your head close to the touching fists and pretend to take a big, sensuous bite out of them.

Napoleon Bonapound

Note: this requires each participant to be wearing a coat or jacket. Initiate a normal right-fist pound. Slide your hand into your coat and stare off triumphantly into the distance.

Quarter Pounder

Pound with one hand but only make contact with one knuckle.

Quarter Pounder with Cheese

Same as above, but bring your other hand above the Quarter Pounder to "sprinkle" the cheese. This should involve a light, whispering sound effect in conjunction with wiggling your fingers, perhaps lightly touching the other person's wiggling fingers.

Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese

Similar to above. Pound with both fists, making contact with only one knuckle on each, then use both hands to sprinkle the cheese, as described above, right over where your fists made contact.

Lost & Pound

Start with a right-fist pound, but miss by veering to the left. Follow it up by connecting with an assertive left-fist pound.

Zounds of Pounds

Start by rapidly pounding the other person's fists, alternating left and right. After a few seconds, say in a falsetto voice, "Zounds of Pounds!!!!!" and continue the rapid-fire pounding until someone gives up.

Knights of the Pound Table

Begin by executing a traditional right-handed pound. Upon release, bend your arm at the elbow and swing your forearm a little more than 90 degrees to your right. Swing back to the left as if striking swords together; make a clanking noise - "dink" or "clank". Now rotate your arm to the left, preparing to deliver a backhanded clash of the swords. Strike invisible swords again, making the appropriate noise. Conclude with a chivalrous right-hounded pound.

The Perfect Pound

Popularized by Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire when they were still American heroes, the Perfect Pound endures as a favorite of the masses. You've probably seen it: one person pounds down as the other pounds upward, then switch positions for a second pound, and then finish with a horizontal engagement. This technique is a bit tricky, because there must be an implicit decision as to who starts on top. But if you can solve that problem with grace and without words, you will have the Perfect Pound.


Who says you need a partner to pound? Make two fists and pound them vertically such that the first finger and thumb of the left fist make contact with the pinky of the right fist. Great for self-congratulatory moments, or if you've gone too long without a real pound.

Pound Robin

Requires three or more participants. The best Pound Robins begin with someone declaring "Pound Robin!", and everyone present must pound with everyone else. Sort of like "Cheers!", but with fists. However, technically, a Pound Robin is said to have taken place if every participant engages in a fist pound with every other participant, regardless of whether it was declared at the beginning.

Pound Explode, aka Exploding Pound

An American classic. Start with a regular fist pound, but upon contact, open your fist and quickly retract your hand. Sound effects appreciated.

The Ticking Pound

Start with a regular pound, and then retract fists slowly. As you retract, each person shakes his or her fist, and then after an appropriate period of shaking, explode as in a Pound Explode.

The Reverb Pound

Execute an Exploding Pound. After hands are open and apart, bring them back together and close into a pound. Retract fists.

Pound of Goose

Start a pound. Twist your fists and slide them along one another such that the backs of your hands are touching. As they are sliding along, open your fist and lock thumbs with the other participant. Flap your hands and fly away.

(Not to be confused with the Pound Birdy, which involves the middle finger.)

Pound of Dead Goose

Combines the best elements of the Pound of Goose and the Exploding Pound. Execute a Pound of Goose, but before flying too far away, someone says "BOOM!" and destroys the bird.

Pound & Lock

Simple but elegant. Pound fists, twist them 90 degrees clockwise, and make a clicking noise.

Pound of Silence

Initiate a pound, but stop a few inches before contact and immediately walk away as if nothing happened.

Kilogram Pound

Perform a normal pound exactly 2.2 times. Most common pound performed outside of the US.

British Pound

Pound, then buff your knuckles on your waistcoat.

The Pound and the Fury

Start with an innocent enough pound, but proceed to scream incoherently until they put you away.

# Pound

Hold right arm up in front of you as if about to swing down a hammer. Cross left arm over right arm with wrist just above the right elbow. Partner arranges arms in same position except with left wrist placed just below the right wrist. The two of you together then make contact to make a # sign. Points of contact should be left elbow and right wrist for you, left elbow and right elbow for partner.


Pound normally, but narrate the entire exchange and pontificate on the origins of the pound to any present bystanders.

Dog Pound

Start with a pound, but as soon as you make contact, flop your tongue out of your mouth and begin rapidly stamping one foot on the floor uncontrollably. "Attaboy..."

Genghis Pound

Start with a normal enough pound, then slaughter the other participant.

George W. Pound

Lie to the Nation, then do a sweet 'Zounds of Pounds' with your boy Dick Cheney.

The Pound 5

One party holds out a fist as if to pound, and the other party, instead of pounding, slaps the fist a mid-5. The second party then reciprocates.

This is the pound of the future.

24 Pounds

A pound performed with Teague Murphy, the precocious 1 year-old pound master of Williamstown, Massachusetts. The name comes from Teague's present weight (that's a lot of poundage per pound!). Some people have suggested that "24 Pounds" could also be known as "Pound of Baby".

The Ezra Pound

Execute an exploding pound while reciting Pound's poem "Salutation."

If a tree falls in the woods and no one's there to hear it, does it make a pound?

Go into a forest and pound a small tree until it falls over.

Pound of Tea

Begin as if for a normal right handed pound, but lift your pinky fingers and pound with the remaining three fingers, with a similar configuration to a proper teacup-grip.

Pound Check

Execute a normal pound, but at first contact, say "testing" and tap fists rhythmically while one person says "one...two...three." Repeat as necessary, adjusting volume.

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