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press the flesh

to shake hands

TRANSLATION

press the flesh = Hände schütteln; Wählerhände schütteln

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

"The gathering was a chance for the opposition leader to PRESS THE FLESH with important players in the worlds of broadcasting, newspapers, music, theatre and the arts."

The Guardian

Did you
know?

press the flesh
idiom

- to meet and talk with people

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary


ORIGIN

Shaking hands dates back to the Ancient Greeks, probably starting as a way to assure the other person that one was weaponless.

Eventually, handshakes came to symbolize agreement, friendship and trust. It is no wonder that politicians use the subtle psychological symbol of pressing the flesh when courting votes.

Sometimes celebrities or high-ranking corporate officials will also press the flesh in order to demonstrate their appreciation of the ordinary people.

The Grammarist


FLESH-PRESSER RECORD HOLDER

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson once established the Guinness World Record for most handshakes in eight hours by pressing the flesh 13,392 times. He even had a technique: “You grab the elbow, you shake the hand, you look straight in the eye. The worst thing you can do is look over their shoulder. It’s the easiest way to lose a vote.”


AFTER COVID, WILL WE EVER SHAKE HANDS AGAIN?

According to palaeoanthropologist, Ella Al-Shamahi, the handshake isn’t just cultural, it’s biological. We’ve been doing it for 7 million years and it’s programmed into our DNA. She writes:

“I don’t think we’re witnessing the death of the handshake. I think what we’re seeing is, at most, a disruption. Time and again we’ve seen the handshake and other haptic greetings disappear as a result of disease, epidemics and pandemics. And yet it’s never gone for good.”

If she’s wrong, we may be looking at more “hygenic” replacements like; fist bump; elbow bump; the Regency bow or curtsey; the Japanese bow; or the “selfie” (shaking hands with yourself).

Check out “The Handshake: A Gripping History” by Ella Al-Shamahi


SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“Do you think that the pandemic spells the end of FLESH PRESSING?”


THANKS to Birgit for suggesting today’s word


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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