Do the verb and noun "spam" have an antonym?

I'm thinking in terms of "unsolicited email" but also "any kind of repetitive, broadly aimed action" (my definitions, feel free to improve them).

Updated with context: I'm preparing a talk on "conversion", the marketing term for "the point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action". My point will be that if you focus only on improving conversion rates, you'll end up using spam tactics. I want to know whether there's a single word denoting the exact opposite of spam.

Further update: the tactics I'm aiming at describing are typical obtrusive actions used by marketeers (pop-ups, animated buttons, repeated mailings, phone calls, ...).

I'm not specifically thinking of a phrase I would be using the antonym in, but rather a graph where on the one extreme we have "spam" and in the other, er, "ham", for instance. On this graph the different tactics could then be plotted according to their spamminess.

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    What do you mean, antonym? What sort of thing do you consider is the opposite of spam? This is actually a single-word-request question, so you need to be absolutely explcit, and include at least one sample sentence.
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 6, 2016 at 8:59
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    I'm not sure about the verb, but the noun is sometimes referred to as "ham". Sep 6, 2016 at 9:02
  • I've updated the question with more context. Thanks for the "ham" already, I might be able to work with that. Sep 6, 2016 at 9:15
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    That's context, but you haven't explained what you mean by "the antonym of spam". Do you mean "solicited mail", "occasional, targeted/tailored mail"? What are the tactics you're aiming at describing? What is the example sentence containing your word?
    – Andrew Leach
    Sep 6, 2016 at 10:41
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    Freshly broiled chicken breast, perhaps? Peanut butter and jelly? Or perhaps just "keep kosher"?
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 6, 2016 at 12:09

2 Answers 2


"Solicited email" sounds good.

I would suggest that you label the axis connectedness. You can then put a textbox on your slide near the left-hand arrow with the phrase "out and out spam" or "spam", and another on the right with the phrase "solicited" or "response to request". A non-spam email is based on an existing relationship, whereas spam is a shot in the dark.



A piece of bacon is the opposite of spam. Because it is delicious and desirable, it is the opposite of Spam. Where Spam maybe UCE (unsolicited commercial email), Bacon might therefore also be of commercial nature but solicited.

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    Have you evidence that this is actually used, or are you just offering a suggestion? The 'U' in ELU points to accepted usage. Sep 27, 2017 at 23:31
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    If we are making up usage, let's go with Breef which is kosher. Sep 28, 2017 at 0:40
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    @EdwinAshworth: Not an authoritative source, but it seems to be used in the way Tomachi suggested. "That's called bacon--or 'bacn' in internetspeak and it's on the rise. And while spam is illegal, bacon is not--afterall it's you who can't say no to signing up for yet another Groupon spinoff."
    – Flater
    Sep 28, 2017 at 9:46
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    @EdwinAshworth "bacn" yields better results when Googling, Wikipedia lists it as "solicited email". Also note: "It was originally coined in August 2007 at PodCamp Pittsburgh 2, and since then has been used amongst the blogging community."
    – Flater
    Sep 28, 2017 at 9:48
  • @Flater If you follow the links, 'Bacon is now surpassing wanted mail' indicates that it is hardly used as the antonym of spam. Even if one considers the term to have become acceptable, it is not used as the opposite of spam.. I'll have to add my downvote after reading your linked articles. Sep 28, 2017 at 13:17

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