Plonk (Usenet)

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[1] was a commonly used term on Usenet. To publicly repudiate a poster, it is added to one's reply or is simply used as the entire, one-word reply. It is also used as a verb, as in: "I plonked that idiot". The word is an example of onomatopoeia, intended to humorously represent the metaphorical sound[2] of the plonked user hitting the bottom of the kill file (imagined perhaps as a bit bucket).

Folk etymology sometimes gives the term's origin as an acronym of various phrases, although in truth they are backronyms. These backronyms include: Please Log Off, Net Kook; Put Lamer On Killfile[3] and Please Leave Our Newsgroup: Killfile! 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

The first known use was in 1989 by Richard Sexton in the alt.flame newsgroup.

>>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


  1. "plonk". The Jargon File.
  2. "The first *plonk*". Richard Sexton, VRx. 25 February 2008. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-25.
  3. Google Groups search
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