Or, in other words, is


called something? Does this specific phenomenon have a name? Could you refer to it generically, as in, "The screen was filled with [the term]"

You get it by "mashing your keyboard" and I once saw keyboard mash associated with it, but I'm not sure if it was just describing the action or naming the product.

Likely if you referred to it by producing it in brief, i.e., "asdfasdf", people would know what you're talking about—but I started wondering about a general term after noting that my own version of this, tumbling out of a Dvorak layout, looks different:


It seems there might be a space for a generic descriptor, given QWERTZ or AZERTY-specific variations, or possible equivalents on more esoteric devices (like stenotypes).

  • 1
    Although: a generic term would lack the elegance of "asdfasdf", in that it wouldn't be an autonym.
    – derektb
    Dec 7, 2016 at 20:25
  • 'cat-like typing detected' is a meme for general keyboard gibberish, originally from a piece of commercial software, PawSense.
    – John Feltz
    Dec 7, 2016 at 20:37
  • 2
    Your Dvorak gibberish looks suspiciously like a Māori place name. Dec 7, 2016 at 20:38
  • 2
    "Gibberish" is probably the best term. (And it seems odd for someone/something to type "random" keys while limiting itself to the home row.)
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 7, 2016 at 23:43

5 Answers 5


You could say cat typing or the like, since it's a common meme to have cats walk on keyboards and typing.

Otherwise you can use asd or asdasd (Urban Dictionary) by antonomasia.

Some "dance" terms are also claimed to be in use, but I never encountered them.

  • Ultimately I don't know if my question will ever a hard-and-fast answer, but I like "cat typing" as probably the most elegant, punchy solution.
    – derektb
    Jan 1, 2017 at 21:14

Button Mashing

This may be more of a gaming term but mashing the keyboard buttons is used as a phrase in other groups of people.

The act of rapidly pressing/hitting controller button(s) or (a) keyboard to play the game.

As always, there is an xkdc reference: this strip refers to 'fjafjkldsf' as "randomly keyboard mashing".

  • But this is not limited to the home row.
    – Jim
    Dec 8, 2016 at 4:21
  • @Jim You could specify by saying He was mashing the home row. Anyway, the mashing in the cartoon does only include characters from the home row. Dec 8, 2016 at 7:08
  • Except for the “7”. Clearly the cartoon is pointing out how “not random” that sequence was and couldn’t have been “random” keyboard mashing.
    – Jim
    Dec 8, 2016 at 15:25
  • @Jim Nah, the idea was that the keyboard mashing was natural but the inclusion of the "7" was because the actual person typing was a giant spider; all the bit around that was just natural mashing. In retrospect, it might not have been the best example. Dec 8, 2016 at 16:59
  • m.youtube.com/watch?v=27rhmqyhPrw
    – Jim
    Dec 8, 2016 at 17:22

If you're not looking for a neologism, you could call it gibberish

words that have no meaning or are impossible to understand

(Oxford Learner's Dictionary)


Though commonly used to refer to typing clumsily with two keys at a time, the compound "fat-finger" comes to mind. Also, a weak synonym you may employ is "ham-handed."


Wikipedia calls this Keysmash and says "alternatively 'key smash' or 'keyboard smash'". It refers not just to the mechanical act of pressing the keys, but also the writer's intent to express emotion in their communication.

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