Any ideas about what the "slap yourself five" means in the following context?

"When someone says something you disagree with, before you call that person names and slap yourself five for your brilliant rebuttal, take a second to consider it fairly on its own terms."


To "give someone five" is to slap hands together in a congratulatory gesture.

Most often it is heard in the context of "gimme five" or "high five" (the act of slapping the palms together over the heads of the two participants). In this case, to "slap yourself five" would mean to congratulate yourself. Cf. "give yourself a pat on the back."

Edit: See also: "Give me five" and "slap me five": any difference?

  • That is the most likely interpretation, but I do see a few Google hits that imply something different. It does not appear to be a common expression. – Hot Licks Feb 27 '15 at 12:46
  • @Hot Licks, what's the other meaning(s)? +1, and gimme some skin, Robusto! – user98990 Feb 27 '15 at 12:54
  • @LittleEva - The one I looked at halfway closely was some sort of mystical thing involving 5 slaps to yourself. – Hot Licks Feb 27 '15 at 12:57
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    @Hot Licks - your kidding! – user98990 Feb 27 '15 at 12:58
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    I have to admit that the first time I read the sentence I thought it was playing off the "give someone five", but was referring to a "face-palm" - slapping your hand to your forehead in a sign of "DUH!, I made a stupid mistake." The only reason I know I was wrong is because of the word "brilliant" in there. – DoubleDouble Feb 27 '15 at 20:37

the meaning of slap yourself 5 is very obscure.

A skilled English user would be able to tell that this is a mistranslation of "give yourself five", which is obscure, but means to smack your palms together above your head.

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    From the original text, the author seems to be a native speaker, so probably not translated. However, there are 'infelicities' in that full paragraph, leading me to believe that the author was not particularly careful and made mistakes, one of which was this. – Mitch Feb 27 '15 at 22:06
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    I'm not convinced this was a mistake. It's certainly meaningful to slap somebody else five, meaning to high-five them. It's hardly a stretch from there to use this phrase as meaning to high-five yourself. – Chris Hayes Feb 28 '15 at 11:10
  • It is not a stretch, if admitting something you've never heard before among thousands of give me fives is part of the english cannon, is not a stretch – Code Whisperer Feb 28 '15 at 14:42
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  • I stand corrected – Code Whisperer Mar 2 '15 at 4:42

This is related a knee-slapper; one would slap their knee in response to something funny or in rare cases, frustration. In the example you gave it would be the latter.

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