High Five!

We’re taking a look back today at National High Five Day, which is always the third Thursday of April.  Officially, that was yesterday.

We recognize the gesture of greeting, happiness, celebration, or congratulations. It’s easy to cheer someone else on, but we often struggle to support ourselves with the same confidence. So, why not start today and each day celebrating yourself with a high five!?!

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the “high five” has been around since the early 1980s and is related to the slang expressions “give me five”, “slap me five”, “slip me five”, and “give me some skin”. It is the recognizable request for some form of handshake with the “five” referring to the digits of the hand.

Like the “fist bump,” such gestures convey respect, approval, and companionship. And, yes, such a fun “trick” to teach to our favorite furry friends!


Origins are up for debate. Most people think it likely started in baseball or basketball. Some specifically recall Glenn Burk and Dusty Baker of the Los Angeles Dodgers sharing a high five on October 2, 1977, following an important home run.  Others credit the Louisville Cardinals basketball players Wiley Brown and Derek Smith during the 1978-89 season. The usual “low five”, a popular symbol of support since around 1920 in the Black community, was enthusiastically delivered up high for emphasis.

In truth, there are possibilities that go back much further. A high five-style raised hand slap is depicted as far back as 3200 BC in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.

So, be it yesterday, today, or tomorrow, this is a good day for a high five. The power of support and solidarity is always welcome. So, here’s a high five to y’all!

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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