Could someone please explain how come "to strike" as in "strike a deal" comes to mean "to agree to" based on its basic meaning of hitting something? Does this "to strike" relate to "to stamp (to hit) a seal on"?

1 2
Comments  (Page 2) 
Would you then take "strike a deal" as meaning an immediate decision --- a BIG YES to the agreement, as if to jump favorably at the agreement document to sign it?



Yes, to some extent. One minute you don't have a finalized deal, the next minute you do.

Best wishes, Clive
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
strike hands, to conclude a bargain, as by shaking or joining hands; confirm an agreement: They reached a price satisfactory to both of them, and struck hands on it.

Hello, yes I've heard of this and even seen a few times it but it is extremely unusual and restricted these days to certain sorts of people and transactions. I only really associate it with travellers/gypsies/romanies (esp. Irish) and if you can find a video somewhere of one of their horse-dealing fairs you'll see it happening a lot there. It's an archaic way of negotiating/haggling/dealing.

By the way, you are also meant to spit on your palm first! Then you slap it onto the other person's hand. If they shake your hand, you have a deal, if they ignore what you did, then you don't have a deal yet.

I do it occasionally in a jokey way with my boyfriend when we finally agree on something after a lot of heated 'debate'.Emotion: smile Pretend spit, slap, and shake.

It's absolutely NOT something you should do as part of a normal business deal or other transaction.
Interesting indeed! We now see a lot of derivatives of that. "Gimme a five --- high above, at the side, down below...."


"strike" in this situation doesn't indicate to "forceful hitting a hand." Traders in fish markets of many nations have this tradition when trading and striking. Thus, the striking on each others' hands is "mildly done."

Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.