Dapping vs. Dabbing: The Distinction Explained

Are you confused when you hear the phrases dapping someone up and dabbing someone up? To be clear, let us find out in this article.

The phrase “dap me up” is a traditional friendly greeting, such as handshakes, fist bumps, or chest bumps. On the other hand, “dab me up” is when you are to start raising one arm while lowering your head into another.

Although at first glance, both ‘dabbing someone up’ and ‘dapping someone up’ may sound similar, on the broader scene, they are poles apart. From the context of their meaning to their uses, from origins to history, there are some elements that set these two apart.

When these words are used as nouns, dap means a gentle tap or blow, while on the contrary, dap implies a plimsoll.

Similarly, dab is an adverb, whereas dap is an adjective. In addition to these, specific other significant differences can also be seen; keep reading to know more.

What is Dapping Someone Up?

person in black and white long sleeve shirt holding hands with woman in brown coat during
Fist bump

According to this article, it is showing your admiration or greeting someone by knocking your fist against someone else’s fist. 

By 1972, the fist-bump greeting had become famous in African-American popular culture, with many explanations for its origin and significance.

Dap is a polite welcome gesture that dates back to the 1970s. Dapping, which originated in the African-American community, has become popular in Western culture. Fist bumps, shaking hands,  and chest-bumping are all examples of dap.

The Distinction Between Dabbing and Dapping Someone


A dab, as a noun, is a soft or gentle tap or stroke. Dap, on the other hand, refers to a plimsoll.


When used as a verb, dab means to lightly press something with an object in a continuous motion. It entails pushing rather than rubbing. Dap, on the other hand, is running or heading somewhere quickly.


The origin of dab is unknown, whereas dap emerged in the 1970s from the African American community.

Read more: What’s the Difference Between “Ser” and “Ir”?

What Does Dap mean in Slang?

You probably often heard the phrase dap me up when meeting friends. In slang, it is an informal greeting with relatives or friends. It involves giving a fist bump, like an informal greeting, a high five.

So when someone tells you to dap me up, you are to give them a handshake or fist bump as a sign of greeting

How To Use “Dap Me Up”?

When you meet your friends you can say dap me up, meaning you are requesting an informal greeting, they can tap you, shake your hand, or fist bump.

However, when used to this greeting, you don’t say this phrase once because you both automatically make a gesture when greeting each other. 

An example of this is when basketball players greet each other on the first meeting at the gathering. A fist bump is the usual greeting they make.

How Did Dap Me Up Get So Popular?

Dapping is still widely practiced in African American communities, but it has also gained popularity among white people, particularly boys and young men.

National-level basketball players – typically of African American descent – are frequently seen dapping as a pregame ritual.

Anyone can dap as a positive, nonverbal communication between peers.

Synonyms Of The Word Dap

Other words that verbally request a gestural greeting equivalent to “dap” or “dap me up” are:

  • Shake hands
  • Fist bump
  • High five 

What Is Dabbing Someone Up?

two friends dabbing up
Friends dabbing up with each other

The phrase “dab me up” comes from the slang phrase “dab me up,” which is a greeting. When someone says, “dab me up,” they ask you to ‘dab’ them.

 According to this article, dab is a pleasant handshake, grab up and pull out with a sliding snap. 

Giving dab could refer to various forms of good nonverbal communication between two people. It could be as simple as a brief physical contact to a complex system of shakes, slaps, and snaps only the two parties are aware of.

What Is The Dab Me Up Meme?

You already know what ‘dabbing‘ means and what it means to ‘dap me up,’ but where did the meme originate?

Although it is uncertain who invented the meme, people widely utilize it online to communicate with one another.

Dab meme

It initially went viral in January 2021, when DoubleJTheG posted a video on YouTube. He spams an Instagram group message with the “dab me up” meme until he was taken off. It has now blown over the internet. 

Why Do Guys Dab?

The word ‘dab’ became a symbol of boldness and brotherhood among African American men.

“Dab,” in short, stands for confidence and honor. It evolved into a form of language that helped people express identification, social unity, and togetherness, and it became more than just politeness.

What Does It Mean to Be Dabbed Up?

Dab is a friendly courtesy of agreement, greeting, or harmony between two people, as previously stated. It became popular in Western cultures, particularly around late 1900.

Handshaking (usually by clasping thumbs), fist-pounding, pound hugging, fist or chest-bumping are all forms of offering dap. The routine and phrase originated with black soldiers during the Vietnam War in order to depict the black power movement.

Giving dab could refer to various forms of positive nonverbal communication between two people. It could range from a brief moment of simple physical contact to a complex set of shakes, slaps, and snaps recognized only by the two parties.

Is It Dap Or Dab Me Up?

Dap me up and dab me up are almost identical in meaning. Dap me up is a more formal greeting that is done when meeting.

When you say dab me up, it is often used as informal. You use this phrase when you greet your close friends. 

Some examples when you say dap me up are handshakes, and a high five is an example of the phrase dab me up.

So it just depends on how you use these phrases, if you have a formal event you can greet with a handshake as it is more formal than a high five.

Also, when used as nouns, dab refers to a gentle tap or blow, whereas dap refers to a plimsoll.

When used as a verb, dab means to lightly press a soft object in a repetitive motion without rubbing, whereas dap means to run or go somewhere quickly.

Dab is also an adverb that means “with a dab” or “sudden contact.” Dab is also an adjective that means “bad.”

What Are Examples Of Dapping And Dabbing Someone Up?

These phrases are almost the same in meaning, however, examples may vary from how you use them for greeting. Examples are: 

Dapping someone upDabbing someone up
shaking handsRaising arm
fist bumpBowing 
chest bumpSlap
Here are examples of Dapping or Dabbing someone


Handshakes, fist bumps, and chest bumps are examples of traditional polite greetings. “Dab me up,” on the other hand, is when you raise one arm while lowering your head into the other.

The expression “dab me up” is derived from the slang greeting “dab me up.” Someone who says “dab me up” is requesting you to ‘dab’ them.

Expressing how you greet someone may affect how they respond to it, whether you dap or dab them. Always keep in mind that you should always consider being polite when greeting someone or even your close friends.

I hope this article cleared your confusion about dapping and dabbing someone up.

If you want to know about the difference between “Can You Please” and “Could You Please”, check out my other article.

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