Having taken care of some spam profiles on this site recently, I started to wonder how "spam" might best be translated to Latin. Since the word "spam" itself appears not to have a Latin origin, the best option seems to be start with something like "junk mail" or "unsolicited advertisement" or even just plain "trash".

One might coin the neuter spamma, which is (hopefully) easily understood but some might consider it not to be proper Latin. I thought I could use nuntius with an adjective like "trashy", but I couldn't find anything suitable. The word scrutarius seems to refer more to something that deals with trash rather than something that is trash.

Do you have suggestions? There are several kinds of spam and several ways to approach the translation of modern concepts like this one (I assume the Romans didn't have this problem), but I don't want to constrain you here. Any kind of translation suggestion with reasoning is welcome.

  • Perhaps also the possibility of using the greek aperantologia, but it certainly sounds a bit too précieux, affected…
    – Luc
    Dec 4, 2017 at 12:17
  • @Luc That's an interesting idea, and certainly worth exploring in an answer. With a bit of etymology and other history (if applicable) I would be happy to vote it up. I am looking for different ideas here, not a specific correct answer.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Dec 4, 2017 at 13:22

1 Answer 1


There's a word gerrae (f.pl.) which is used to mean 'rubbish' or 'nonsense', which might suit.

But if that won't do, you may like to reflect the origin of the word 'spam' itself (SPiced + hAM). You might compound something on the same lines, perhaps ARomata + perNA, giving a short, first declension feminine noun, ARPNA, retaining the letter P to distinguish from arna, a lamb.

There must be many analogous possibilities.

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