The Jersey Trinidad

According to Urban Dictionary, the fist pump can be described as..

Fist Pump like a champ! Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino and Paul DelVecchio aka "Pauly D" of The Jersey Shore.


The ‘Fist Pump’ has actually be around a lot longer than The Jersey Shore..some even cite seeing incidences of “fist pumping” as far back as the 1960’s. It is said that “Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi, both New Jersey natives, have been credited as playing a part in the rise of the first pump throughout history.”

Fist pumping is also a pretty common gesture in sports..

The famous Tiger Woods fist pump..


Rafa shows off his fist pump..

That being said, I’m sure we can all agree that it was the cast of The Jersey Shore who catapulted the fist pump into popular culture. Not only in the States,,but all over the world.

"I would have liked to hug the Pope or do something, like fist-pump," Snooki says. "Because I made David Letterman fist pump; I can make anyone fist pump."


and sure enough,,she wasn’t lying..

Snooki teaching David Letterman how to fist pump!

If you’ve never seen what the fist pump looks this video of Vinny Guadagnino aka “Vinny G” showing ‘how to fist pump the jersey shore way’. Skip to 2:20.

Where am I going with this? Well…since I’ve been back in Trinidad, I’ve been noticing a trend. A Jersey Shore inspired fist pumping trend..

Everything from the word “pump/pumpin'” used in everyday speech..

We going an pump tonight..” “We pumpin’ tonight.

To “fist pumping and jumping” songs created by local artists..

Actually, here is a pic of two of my friends doing the fist pump to Nebula 868’s song last Friday at Rossco’s!

fist pumping in Trinidad

The fist pump has reached Trinidad!

And advertisements.. “We pumpin’ with Digiciel!”

And this? This is probably the saddest use of fist pumping anywhere in the world! You have to watch this HI-LO ad where the animated dollar sign fist pumps..too funny!

I asked a few of my friends..when ‘fist pumping’ became so popular in Trinidad and when the words ‘pump/pumpin’ became adopted into speech.. As in all of my previous visits to Trini, I had never really heard the word/term being used before..

And sure enough, they all pretty much had the same thing to say..confirming my suspicions,, “You know that show The Jersey Shore?

Yeah,” I would say..

Yeah…well it started to become popular right around there..when the show started. Trini’s love to piggy back on everything American. Even if we don’t like to admit it.

Ok.. so maybe this is a hasty generalization..but so far, I can provide no other explanation for the prevalence of ‘fist pumping’ in Trinidadian pop culture! Can you? And to be honest,,I’m still not really sure how I feel about the trend.. Fist pumping in Trinidad? I mean, it’s kinda ridiculous. What’s next? Did planking ever pick up here? What about owling? (lol.. owling. bahaha).

I wonder if Snooki would considering coming down to Trinidad to teach Kamla how to fist pump…I mean, she taught David Letterman! That would definitely be the day.



Filed under Life in Trinidad

13 responses to “The Jersey Trinidad

  1. hi danielle 🙂
    fist pumping is also pretty common over here in beirut, mostly performed at night idea where we caught it from though. on another note, i am interested to know why jersey shore is so popular even though i notice it’s highly ridiculed and its participants mocked.any idea?

    • haha oh yeah! I know that the fist pump is big in Beirut! I always used to think it was hilarious seeing a bunch of sweaty men in Sky Bar doing the fist pump! hahah As to why Jersey Shore is so popular..I just thing it’s one of those things that is so absolutely ridiculous that people can’t help but watch! You know?

  2. “Well…since I’ve been back in Trinidad, I’ve been noticing a trend. A Jersey Shore inspired fist pumping trend..”

    that’s probably because since you’ve been back in trinidad, yuh circle is limited. that fist pumpin thing exists in certain realms. it is very non-existent in others. to put some facts on the table, the slang pumpin’ was being used here before jersey shore premiered on mtv in december 2009. this is evidenced by benjai’s song “drunk again” which placed 3rd in the groovy soca category of the soca monarch competition in 2009. (which means the song was recorded and distributed in 2008). check the song here:

    the slang was being used before that, but benjai pushed it into the realm. it just caught on later in certain parts as most cool slangs do.

    also, people were fist pumping here before that as well. we used to have a session called sunset chill in a spot called nemo’s. this was a sunday evening into night session of dance music… house in every form, drum and bass, techno, trance… name it. a few people had a fist pump as one of their signature moves. one such person comes to mind now. this was in 2007. here’s a vid of the vibe. unfortunately, we were mostly capturing the djs to help promote the event, so no real evidence of fist pumping:

    anyway… yeah, so there’s that.

    • Well thanks for the information! I stand corrected then! Although I do still think that that “fist pumping” has surged in “recent” popularity because of the Jersey Shore.. oh,, and I know that my “circle” is limited..hence why I cited the other, advertisements, speech etc etc.. I will never be able to experience Trinidad as everyone else does..I can only experience it, and write about it,,as I experience it. 🙂 But I am making an effort to mix and mingle in different “circles” as you get different perspectives of this country. Easier said than done at times,,but I am trying! 🙂 Thanks for the comment Q!

      • i hear yuh. fist pumping has surged in certain places. others, yuh dare not make dat motion… at least not in a serious manner.

        the circle by the way is not range in terms of fist pump instances that i was making a reference too. the fist pump out here long time as an expression of victory. i was talking about circles with regards to the perspective of trinidad. the info you are gathering is from a particular perspective. i appreciate that the only angle yuh could take is the one that you have experienced. ah just encouraging yuh to open the circles so that your appreciation could be wider. yuh missin out plenty. this applies to a lot of other posts that i’ve read.

        buh yeah… keep on keepin on.

      • Faced the same criticisms with my posts about Beirut. I try my best to keep my posts as objective as possible given my “limited experience and exposure…” I shall keep on keeping on. 😀

  3. ooooooooooo… daz interestin… de beirut ting. anyway, we go link.

  4. This blog offers as much depth and insight into Trinidad , as someone who is presently trapped in a cave on mars would.

    You seem to live your life on Arapita Ave , which is sad. You also seem to be eager to show that Trinidad is keeping pace with global trends and pop culture. This perhaps reflects some internal anxiety you have about the place.?

    I would suggest that you go out and travel around the island and experience different things, but your observations are reflective of someone who seems incredibly shallow, and therefore incapable of really discovering anything.

    Having read your blog i have now fully lost all hope that T&T may become a complete society. The shallow materialistic view you have of the place, is , i fear, what most Trini;s are happy with.


    • Thank you for the constructive criticism Darren. It is truly appreciated. I will admit that thus far, my experience in Trinidad has been limited.. One of the main reasons being I don’t have a car, therefore my ability to get around the country is limited..and finding people who are willing and have the time to take me places is a bit difficult as well. I must admit, I’m not brave enough to go exploring the country on my own. Not just yet. Surely you understand why.

      As a blogger you should know that putting your experiences and opinions out there for everyone to see, takes a great deal of well..courage.. Cause..chances are..there are going to be people who think that your insight into a place is akin with someone who is “presently trapped in a cave on mars.”

      Instead of harsh criticism, I would have preferred if you 1.) Suggested places for me to visit to get a better “idea” of what Trinidad is about or 2.) (and this is far fetched) even OFFER to personally guide me through some of those places! That’s a thought now, isn’t it? 🙂

      I look forward to your comments in the future.

  5. ksha

    Hi Danielle, LAST year planking was so big it was most were being posted on twitter of Trinis planking all over the place it was quite hilarious ! yes! Trinis do admittedly or not piggy back on American stuff! Trinidad is even dubbed ‘little New York”
    I was trying to insert some pics of locals planking at westmall and one person on their roof but I have no idea how to insert a pic into my reply (blonde moment) 😦

  6. MJ

    Hi Danielle,
    I read your piece on 3canal (which I loved) and then saw a link to Fist Pumping in Trinidad and was like….whaaaat? Lol. I think it’s just that dance music has completely taken over so even people who haven’t seen Jersey Shore will be doing the fist pump because that’s the way people tend to dance to this kind of music.
    And Trinis of course will always be copping a new word to describe ‘liming’ so pumping is just the new thing till something else comes along.

    Good job on your reply to darrynboodan – I thought he was way too harsh and I agree that he should’ve offered to take you around!
    Email me and I’ll hook you up with people who go hiking outside of Port of Spain.

  7. Natasha

    Hi Danielle,

    I think if you are going to write a blog titled “This is Trinidad,” then you need to have a more well-rounded exposure to this country. Perhaps you have approached your blog from a personal perspective, but the name of your blog does not reflect that in it’s content. Your experience of the country is limited to the extent that there is so much you don’t know about Trinidad that you don’t even KNOW how much you don’t know.

    Not having a car is not a valid excuse. We have a Tourism Board. There are certified guides for exactly this purpose. If you are serious about writing a blog that claims to be informative about this country, then I suggest you do some research and expand your horizons. Or change your focus. Because what you are writing is NOT Trinidad. It’s Trinidad as viewed from the perspective of someone who lives and works in the West. There is so much more to experience that resides outside of the confines of your (and my) comfort zone.

  8. OK i think i need to come to your defense here- with regards to the last comment there- i think your blog should be whatever you want to write about-you have no obligation about anything a blog about Trinidad from your own experiences- there is no one defining aspect of this place..and all places within are as valid as the next..

    what i WAS attacking and what i think is fair game..was your interpretations…and the narrow angle you are writing it from..

    it is interesting to hear you say that you are afraid to go travelling around alone…and that you need a car…..i wouldn’t mind reading a post about that

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