Etymology Of The Tagalog Expression Apir (What Is Known By Most As A High Five)

Apir is a rather common expression among Filipinos. It's their own version of the expression high five from English-speaking countries. It's a gesture between two people which aims to celebrate something. For instance, a man just learns that he passed his driving test. To congratulate him, his companion would come up to him and exclaim apir! The two would then slap each other's open palms with their arms raised.

Where did the term apir come from, you may ask. Well, the prevailing explanation is that it's a shortened version of the English phrase "up here". You see, when Westerners high five someone, they might say, "Give me (Gimme) five...up here." Filipinos took the phrase "up here" and made it their own by combining the two words and forming the single expression of apir. You could say Filipinos Tagalized (the process of making Tagalog versions of foreign words especially English words) the phrase.

There are those who say that apir comes from the English word "appear". However, there's no proof to back up this claim.
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