[Ads-l] to spam = to repeat (13 Mar 2006)

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 15 00:08:51 UTC 2022

I’ve been hearing the verb “spam” to mean “repeat” lately. I don’t think this has been covered on the ADS. I found this meaning only in Wiktionary and the Urban Dictionary. 

Here’s an example in the compound “to spam blink”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4AXvDfVG-Y <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4AXvDfVG-Y>, 0.27
World's CRAZIEST Mind Tricks! (optical illusions)
21 Dec 2021

1. Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/spam#Verb <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/spam#Verb>) covers this, saying rapidity is key.

2. The UD (https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=SPAM <https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=SPAM>) also has this. Maybe 16 years is my limit on ignoring usage. 
March 13, 2006

(Verb) To constantly repeat something over and over again. In video games this is often used to refer to using a particular skill or action multiple times in rapid succession. (e.g., to spam fireball) (adj. form: spammable)

3. The UD also has a 2005 citation that seems to be a likely precursor.
May 29, 2005

To rapidly post the same line in a chat room consecutively
Uber: Quit Spamming Chat Noob 
Noob: u hav no lyfe 
Noob: u hav no lyfe 
Noob: u hav no lyfe 
Noob: u hav no lyfe 
Noob: u hav no lyfe 
Noob: u hav no lyfe 
Noob: u hav no lyfe

Arguably the second definition of the OED fits this: To flood (a network, esp. the internet, a newsgroup, or individuals) with a large number of unsolicited postings, or multiple copies of the same posting.

Benjamin Barrett (he/his/him)
Formerly of Seattle, WA
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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