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Plonk (Usenet)

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Plonk is a Usenet jargon term for adding a particular poster to one's kill file so that poster's future postings are completely ignored. It was first used in 1989, and by 1994 was a commonly used term on Usenet.[1] To publicly repudiate a poster, it is added to one's reply or is simply used as the entire, one-word reply. It may also be used as a verb. The word is an example of onomatopoeia, intended to represent the metaphorical sound of the plonked user hitting the bottom of the kill file.[2]

Folk etymology sometimes gives the term's origin as an acronym of various phrases, although these are likely to be backronyms. These backronyms include: Please Log Off, Net Kook and Put Lamer On Killfile.[3] The term's usage later expanded to include blocking messages from annoying senders by using e-mail filters that delete incoming messages based on criteria set by the email recipient. Plonk has similarly been used on BBSes, online forums, blogs, IRC (Internet Relay Chat), and wikis (which usually do not have filters). It is occasionally used in reference to blocking a user on instant messaging (IM) or a social media site.

First known use[edit]

The first known recorded use was in November 1989 by Richard Sexton in the alt.flame newsgroup,[4] who recalled it as "about the 12 or 20th time" that he had used it.[2]

>>Please refrain from posting to talk.bizarre until such time as you
>>cease to be an asshole and become at least one of: bizarre, creative,
>>or entertaining. You are welcome to dump your rotting ordure in rec.humor
>>or some similar group where your fellow mental defectives congregate.

>Make me.


See also[edit]


  1. "plonk". The Jargon File.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The first *plonk*". Richard Sexton, VRx. 25 February 2008. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-25. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. Google Groups search
  4. alt.flame archived by Google Groups

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