Origins of the Eight Clap
Warning: The following should not be taken as historically sound or accurate.
Abstract: In order to understand the etymology of the Eight Clap, one must look further back into history. Across the city, the University of Southern California had adopted the Trojan moniker in 1912. They adopted a curious hand signal that many Bruins mistake for saying they are second place. However, this is a misnomer. The Trojan “Fight On” hand sign is a true counterpart to the Eight Clap.
Back in ancient Troy, Trojans would cut off the index and middle fingers of conquered opponents. This was a preventative measure to stop conquered groups from wielding swords, spears or bows in retaliation. As a result, Trojans would taunt their opponents by holding those very fingers up, as if to say, “Haa, I still have my fingers.” It was a sign of being part of the ruling class.The modern day USC Trojans revived that ancient taunt as they conquered the football fields of their opponents. The Bruins were one of these conquered opponents, which, to this day, have never taken a lead in the series.
As most marginalized groups would, they began to embrace their identity. Since conquered groups lost two fingers, they role-played as if they did as well. In order to account for the ‘lost’ fingers, they invented a clap involving only eight fingers: three from one hand and five from the other. The Bruins would clap this combination together repeatedly in futility. As the clap evolved, they tried to obscure its origins while attempting to keep a semblance of tradition. As a result, the modern day Bruin Eight Clap involves clapping eight times instead of using eight fingers.