Oxford Dictionary defines spam as:

Irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to large numbers of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.

I want to find an alternative for the word, since I want to use it in a sentence where a friend of mine sent me a large number of pictures of Maths questions/notes which I needed, all at the same time. Certainly, that is neither "irrelevant", nor "unsolicited".

A sample sentence would be:

My friend _____ me with Maths questions.

I know that we normally use "spammed" in such sentences, but I want to find a more appropriate word for such a sentence. I know that another way of putting that sentence, while also conveying the same meaning (among many other such sentences) is:

My friend sent me a lot of Maths questions.

However, I want to know if there's a word that fits the original sentence more appropriately than "spammed", while also conveying that I received a lot of the said questions in a short inverval of time.

  • Your friend "dumped" the questions on you.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 1:27
  • @HotLicks That's not the word I'm looking for, since it may not be necessarily true. For example, if I solve a large number of questions and send the good ones, say 20-30 of them, to my friend at once, I'll have _____ him. Certainly, that's not "dumping" of the questions, since I've solved them myself, and sent them to him for his benefit. On the other hand, inundated does seem quite appropriate. Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 1:31
  • "Dumped" is appropriate when the questions arrive in a nearly overwhelming mass and without a lot of warning. It's common to say, eg, "The teacher dumped a load of homework on us for the weekend."
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 1:37
  • 2
    You could also use "bombarded" or "barraged" in your sentence.
    – JLG
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 1:46
  • "Spam" is not at all appropriate in this situation, since the math questions your friend sent were needed and wanted (even if perhaps not quite as many as you got). I think I would go with "inundated" here.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 5:55

3 Answers 3


Focusing on the "large number" and "same time" features of the question, inundate comes to mind, particularly the second definition:

to overwhelm:

inundated with letters of protest.


Spam is a curious word that has entered the language by an odd route. Originally a nutritionally-questionable product of Hormel Foods Corporation, the brand name has become synonymous with spurious internet messaging. The usage appears to have originated in a television sketch by Monty Python's Flying Circus - see (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=anwy2MPT5RE)

As electronic communication proliferated, the colloquial coinage has supplanted "junk mail" as a noun referring specifically to electronic communication, and overwhelm, flood, inundate, deluge and similar literal and figurative expressions as a verb.

Since the word was originally a humorous, topical figure of speech, the best course may be to revert to those words which it figuratively replaced.


You could try "My friend plastered me with Maths questions."

Plastered *verb (used with object)
10. to overspread with something, especially thickly or excessively: a wall plastered with posters. - dictionary.com

Here's an example of its usage:

It was a fantastic conference, and thanks to all of you who plastered me with questions after (both) of my sessions. - James Luetkehoelter

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