How Did The Handshake Originate

Last Updated on August 16, 2021 by Neil Mackengie

Today it seems perfectly natural for us to shake hands when we greet someone or say goodbye. But like so many things that we do without thinking, such actions at one time probably symbolized something. For example, in primitive life, the hand was probably a symbol of power and strength. The hand was used to fight enemies, kill animals, and make spears and implements.  So when the hand was extended to someone, it could have represented goodwill, since it showed that the person was not armed or ready to fight.

How Did The Handshake Originate

We know that the hand was an important symbol in early religions, probably as a mark of power. The Greeks prayed to their gods with raised hands, Presenting the hands palm to palm was at one time the way an inferior person paid respect to a superior one.

Among the Arabs, it was customary at one time to kiss the hand of a superior. Later on, polite Arabs began to resist the efforts of people to kiss their hands, and sometimes they would end up clasping hands as each tried to prevent the other from showing this mark of “inferiority”.

The early Greeks held out the right hand when they wished to indicate friendship to a stranger. So we can see that the hand, and what was done with it, was full of meaning to people down through the ages. And while we shake hands without thinking, we are really carrying on a custom that has been handed down to us from ancient times.

FAQ

Who Invented The Handshake?

King Shalmaneser III invented the handshake.

Did you know the term “handshake” dates back to the ancient Greeks?

Short Answer- The word “hand” comes from the Greek word “handy” which means “to stretch out the fingers”. The word “hand” was used in ancient Greece to describe the opening of the hand in a form of greeting or respect. The term “handshake” appears in the ancient Greek book of Homer’s Iliad, where the term is used to describe the actions of the warriors that happened before a duel. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but some say that the term “handshake” is derived from the ancient Greek handshake, which was a sign of respect.

When did handshaking become popular?

Most people think of handshaking as a formal greeting. Many believe that handshaking started in the 1800s with the invention of the handshake. However, new research suggests that it actually dates back to the ancient Egyptians. In a recent article published by NPR, the author suggests that handshaking may have been a necessary part of ancient business dealings, a way to prevent hostile acts and preserve peace.

Is it rude to shake hands with gloves on?

Answer- You may wear your gloves when shaking hands, except when meeting the President, the First Lady, or a high-ranking church or government official. When you shake hands, make sure that you’re standing.

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