What is the antonym (opposite) of “email”?


What is the antonym (opposite) of “email” to refer clearly to "traditional mail" and not to email?


Posted 2018-11-20T11:50:54.183

Reputation: 11

5These are not "opposites". Is a bus the opposite of a car? How do we refer to mail that is sent via the postal service and delivered by a human being? – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2018-11-20T13:18:46.640

1You should state your context. Are you looking for an informal term or a formal term? – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2018-11-20T13:25:03.107

2That's an alternative, not an antonym. – user3169 – 2018-11-20T22:00:38.390



What about snail mail?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary

snail mail [informal humorous]

letters or messages that are not sent by email, but in the post

As pointed by Tᴚoɯɐuo, notice that this term is informal and mildly derogatory.


Posted 2018-11-20T11:50:54.183

Reputation: 6 560

1It should be pointed out that this is an informal, mildly derogatory term. A law firm, say, wouldn't ask you to send them a duly signed document "via snail mail". – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2018-11-20T13:21:10.947

@Tᴚoɯɐuo You're right. I've updated my answer to highlight that point. Thanks! – RubioRic – 2018-11-20T13:38:40.220

1A more formal term for snail mail is letter mail. Or just by mail or by letter. – Jason Bassford – 2018-11-20T14:57:41.400


The Wikipedia entry for Mail has a few possible terms you could consider.

As an AmE speaker, I use the term postal mail to clarify that I'm speaking about physical letters and not electronic messages.


Posted 2018-11-20T11:50:54.183

Reputation: 605


While I agree with snail mail, an alternative when referring to large amounts of data is sneaker net. Rather than sending the data electronically, the data is copied to a disk or other medium and physically transported (presumably by someone wearing sneakers).


Posted 2018-11-20T11:50:54.183

Reputation: 4 265

This is valid in a specific context, one which only a very small percentage of people will ever face. I don't think OP is talking about this, just traditional delivery of mail as compared with electronic delivery of mail. – Andrew – 2018-11-21T16:17:31.540