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The Official Handshake Etiquette Guidebook

Shaking hands is a greeting ritual that dates back to the early Neolithic period.  Apparently somewhere around that time people decided it was more appropriate than licking someone’s face to acknowledge a clan member.  There’s your fun history fact for the day.

This custom and its many variations have lead to some confusion after the advent of Instagram, but fret not!  We have officially been commissioned by The International Handshaking and Other Hand Gestures Council to construct a brief quick-reference guide to hand-humping.  It was a free gig.  We take what we can get…

Below you’ll find a list of handshakes that are internationally recognized by the council.  Please print this list and keep it for future reference in case you meet people not on Facebook.

1.  The Double Embrace

This variation is an intimate one which involves a two-handed grab by one of the hand-shaking parties.

See below:


An extremely polite gesture until the ten second mark is reached.  If the ten second mark is surpassed, the hand shaker is dropping a sexual hint.

See below again:


The Double Embrace is equivalent to placing your face next to somebody’s ear and softly blowing a Rod Stewart tune.

2.  The Noodle Fingers

In the event that you find yourself hand-locked with a person whose fingers have the muscle density of wet spaghetti noodles, remove your hand and instruct them to lift more dumbbells and less Rubik’s Cubes.  Shaking hands with a Noodle Fingers is like shaking hands with a toddler, or a gerbil.


Buck up.  This is a time to match grips, not fondle raw eggs.

Don’t put yourself at risk for public humiliation and/or a broken hand.  Especially if you find yourself matched with the next grip on our list.

3.  The Vice Grip


There are many complex ligaments and bones in the hands that make masturbation possible for both men and women.  Don’t put somebody on a six month hiatus from that privilege.  Use your gorilla-freak fists for something more practical like husking walnuts.


If the potential hand-shaking party is known to be a user of this cruel tactic, it’s socially acceptable to salute them instead.  Or just pretend like you didn’t see them at the party.

4.  The Curtsy Shake


What is this, fucking Colonial America?

5.  The Four-Finger Zinger


Let’s try this again:  when the webbings between pointer and thumb meet during the handshake, that’s the signal to close grips.  The object of the game is not to see who can grab the other person’s fingers first.  It’s a shady display of dominance.  Counter this haughty hand-shaker with a stiff hand chop to the side of the neck.

“Oh, hey Mark, good to see– *PI YOW!*”

6.  The Opposing Techniques Shuffle


It happens to the best of us:  one party commits to the fist bump while the other is committed to a traditional grip.  After the awkward mashing of incompatible hands, it’s customary for the two parties to then break into a quick game of Rock, Paper, What Fucking Handshake are we Doing Here?

Do not ever approach a casual handshake opportunity with some fancy street derivative, as this could delay the meet and greet and create a scene.  Put your arm at a ninety degree angle, homie, and put ‘er there.

7.  The Shwefty Lefty

Holy, um, what?  Malfunction.  Malfunction.  Does not compute.

The only time a left-handed handshake is ever acceptable is if the right arm is broken or missing.  Otherwise, what galaxy cluster do you park your space bike on?

This is a right-handed society and we’ll pretend that little mishap didn’t happen.


Baha.  Haha.

Bonus Handshakes:

8.  The Patty Cake Shake


Here we have a man who was raised by wolves taking part in his first hand shake tutorial.  Sometimes it takes a couple tries.  Nothing wrong with a little improvisation.

9.  The Sloppy Seconds Shake


It’s kinda like watching the runt of the pack trying to find a free nipple.

10.  The No Shakey Fakey


Eh, whatever.  Wasn’t important.


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89 Comments on The Official Handshake Etiquette Guidebook

  1. Reblogged this on Chowderhead and commented:

    Everything you need to know about shaking hands. Seriously.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I needed this. My greatest difficulty is knowing when to go into broshake mode and when to go straight shake mode. As I get older, assuming that I can still broshake whenever I want can be embarrassing if the person I’m shaking hands with goes old school because they assume I’m not cool enough to broshake. I end up with situation 6 which nobody wants, but is just another sad part of growing old.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh man, a number 6 will sour your day. My buddy did that to me recently and I was like, Dude? What…what…why did you do that? Broshake is a keeper too. Thank you for that.


  3. When some guy gives me the “curtsy shake,” I counter with the “vice grip.” I think it’s so sexist, don’t you?


  4. This is too funny, I’m going to be using some of these, to annoy the hell out of my siblings. Hehehe…;) Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Aftermath Of Lauren and commented:
    Guys, check these out, you never know when they’ll come in handy…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is hilarious! I never knew there were so many handshakes. I’m pretty sure of guilty of #5. Let’s try this again, shall we? I’m going to work on the patty cake shake just to annoy people.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was at a bar last weekend, and the bartender was this smokin hot guy. He introduced himself, so I reached out to shake his hand. He gave me a #4. I don’t hide my emotions well. He found me later and apologized for his pussified hand shake and then gave me a proper one, but still. He will never get past the curtsy. Ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s just like hand holding, Adam. Apparently, there’s a wrong way and a right way.

    See what I’m saying?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So what about ambiguous liquids or gels on the hands? I’d avoid licking someone’s face in that scenario.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nobody likes sloppy seconds.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. too funny. but don’t laugh at lefties, we might smack you with our smudgy hands:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on sed30's Blog and commented:
    Always been fascinated by body language

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The No Shakey Fakey was awesome. Haha!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. The #4 is permissible if your are not proficient in firearms and are still fighting with swords. Examples: Olympic fencing and saving a damsel in distress from a castle.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nope. Fencers shake with their left hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This. Is. Hilarious. Just this morning, the radio people came back from break. Over the break, guy sneezed into his hand, licked the goo and said, “Hmm, tastes like cheese puffs.” Girl then schools him in sneeze etiquette by giving him a tissue and telling him to blow, and next time sneeze into the tissue. She tells him not to come anywhere near her til he sanitizes himself. They start their banter and it turns ugly. He then offers a truce and invites her to shake his hand, and she almost does! Haha. She realized at the last minute and pulled her hand away. That was funny, but your post is hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, chick! Sorry I’m late. I’m usually much more punctual than this, but I’m free now to banter if you so chose…

      Your story is disgusto by the way, and I actually witnessed that in real life and still bring the story up to this day. My grandma took the grand kids (us) to some shady buffet for geriatrics once, and some dude sneezed all over his hand, then proceeded to lick his palm like an ice cream cone. It scarred me for like. The sneeze guard was the best thing ever invented. Buffets are the worst thing ever invented, and they cancel out, so no more buffets because booger stigma.


      • EEW. I thought the guy was doing it for entertainment. Never thought it would happen in real life. Gross. Buffets are the worst. Sneeze guards are 100% foolproof aren’t they? Sneeze drops will never find their way through that gaping hole used to access food.

        Another phrase that strikes fear is, “Let us now offer the sign of peace.” The priest says it in church and I’m always like a deer in the headlights when the person next to me extends hand.

        Liked by 1 person

      • What does church mean?


  17. I live and work in an all female environment, where handshakes are much rarer than they are in the male world. I am glad of it. There is nothing more awkward than holding wobbling jelly in your hand, unsure of how tightly you should grasp it. After all, if you didn’t apply some force, all of its five fingers would slide out of your palm and splatter on the ground. How embarrassing would that be, to have your hand on the pavement instead of at the end of your arm?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This was hilarious, but let’s get real: it’s a serious issue! I never know what to do when meeting someone for the first time. Handshake? Hug? Or, my usual go-to, awkward wave from afar?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, chick! And I’m being completely serious. This is something that our political candidates should be taking stances on. Hey, you ever do that hug/kiss on the cheek thing? God that can be weird. Nothing more awkward than burying your nose into somebody’s ear after committing last second.

      See? Maybe we should just go back to licking each others faces to make it easy.


  19. I hate receiving handshake #1 it always takes a turn to “I want to molest you” type of move.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hilarious. Where’s my book already. More posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whatup, chick! Actually, I do have one in the works. I’m a prologue and three chapters in right now, but I’m spread thin at the moment. My goal is to have it first drafted by spring. So far, it’s funny as shit. I’ll prob start writing again too on Chowderhead once it gets cold because I fucking hate winter.

      What you been up to? How’s the freelance biz?


  21. Hilarious as usual 🙂

    I say we all start sniffing butts like the canines do. So much less ambiguity.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. It’s just far easier to give the person a bear hug. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Reblogged this on Diary Incarnate and commented:
    human nature cracks me up – Mr De Voss’ writing does too.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. A client from a few years back had the vice grip of death. She (yes, I said she) was very small & petite so I was not prepared for the pain that was inflicted. I went home and iced my hand. The next meeting we had included several of my colleagues (all men). I made sure my hands were full as I greeted her and made the introductions. It was very entertaining watching as each man shook her hand and a little tear would form in the corner of their eye. Afterward they descended upon me with one question, “What’s with the handshake?!” Ahhhhh, the happy memories.


  25. So glad the council commissioned the right people to do this research. Your findings are incomparable. Eh, whatever. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Shame the “swift kick in the testicles – now shake you bastard” doesn’t feature.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I had the #6 handshake happen with a barber, recently. I went in for a normal handshake, he was going in for a bro-tastic, multi-layered shake that looked more like a slew of obscenities in sign language. Half-way through, I actually said, “Well, now it’s just awkward.”

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Gotta hand it to ya. Of course, more scientific research needs to be done on the racial and cultural influences. As an uncool white man, I’ve always had diificulty keeping up with Black guys – who seem to develop new and creative (convoluted) hand shakes in their sleep. Also, what about high fives? Fist bumps?
    I trust you and Chris to continue your fine research into this important subject. Perhaps you could get a government reseach grant.

    Liked by 1 person

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