Just what is ‘dabbing’ and why do footballers keep doing it?

Look at my dab

First it was a trickle, now it’s a downpour.

Currently, ‘dabbing’ is the preferred celebration for any professional footballer with a passing interest in the Atlantan hip-hop scene. Don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about? Well you might have seen Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard doing this recently:

That, right there, is a dab. It became a ‘thing’ last autumn in America, when Cam Newton, a quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, started celebrating touchdowns with obnoxious eight second dabs in the faces of opposition players.

The move originated in Atlanta last summer, pioneered by a rap group called Migos. It’s both a dance move and a philosophy. The dance move essentially combines proper sneezing etiquette (into the elbow) with some Usain Bolt arm action. The philosophy is less easy to explain, but it is perhaps best summed up by the lyrics to Migos’ song Look At My Dab (Back To The Bando):

Bitch dab, bitch dab
Bitch dab, bitch dab
Bitch dab, bitch dab
Bitch dab, bitch dab
Bitch dab, bitch dab
Dab, dab, dab, dab, dab, dab

In Europe the dab’s been pioneered and popularised by Paul Pogba of Juventus. Here’s Pogba’s Dab:

Pogba and Mario Balotelli have done a double dab on a night out:

And Everton’s Romelu Lukaku obviously listens to Trap as well, because he was dabbing after this goal against Stoke back in December:

The rise and fall of the trend has – presumably – begun. Lingard and Lukaku have brought it to the Premier League – which surely means its terminal moment (when someone like Scott Dann or Mark Noble dabs) is imminent. Luckily, Sam Allardyce didn’t dab when Sunderland came back from two goals down at Anfield last weekend and I haven’t seen anyone dabbing on the street outside a Pryzm yet either. Yet.

However, it’s almost certainly over in the US, thanks to Hilary Clinton, who dabbed on the Ellen DeGeneres show (this is so awful your eyes could melt and dribble out of their sockets and down your face, so be careful, OK?).