Once used strictly by boxers to test each others strength and will, this versatile and easily-learned gesture has since been co-opted by mass culture; sports stars of all stripes can be seen spudding, celebrities, grand parents, social workers, dog walkers, truck drivers, rodeo clowns, and airline pilots can all be seen giving props, even President Obama can be seen regularly giving respect to notable dignitaries. Fist bumps have acquired universal status, sign language slang of the first order, utilized alone and in gestures such as dap. [Dap is a form of handshake that has recently become popular in western cultures” Dap Greeting, Wikipedia. A video on the subject, The Dap Project, is a video documentary ca. 2006 from High School of Commerce, Springfield, MA.]
If you haven’t yet try it out, knock your own knuckles together, feel the connection. Experiment with your friends and family to find out when a fist bump is appropriate for you, and then branch out to neighbors and colleagues. The risks are low and there will come a time where the fist bump is assimilated into your communication resources, alongside those other venerable hand signs: the wave, handshake, high-five, thumbs up, middle finger, devil horns, and peace sign.