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We can often see in online group conversations messages composed of random letters like "fjqofudnelfi" as a response to something surprising or unexpected.

Is there a name for this kind of "behaviour" ?

More precisely: is there a name for the action of furiously typing a random string on the keyboard?

Thank you

P.S. I couldn't find anything online as I didn't know how to concisely describe it.

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Is there a name for the action of furiously typing a random string on the keyboard?

keyboard mashing

Keyboard Mashing is, essentially the result of someone mashing their keyboard in certain circumstances. Such as in times of frustration, anger, boredom, an attempt to relieve stress or due to a violent spasm in the typist's hands and arms. This generally occurs in chatrooms or on chat programs, such as MSN, IRC, AIM etc.

RandomMSNnick #1 says: "Hey dude, what've you been up to today?"

RandomMSNnick #2 says: "fghjfghjas da874r"

RandomMSNnick #1 says: "Been that kinda day, huh? Ain't seen you Keyboard Mashing in a while.."

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Keyboard%20Mashing


Also consider:

nonsense

Nonsense is stuff that sounds like language but doesn't have any meaning, like the phrase higgledy-piggledy-po, or fwumphy-doo. The most famous nonsense poem is Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky."

Nonsense means exactly what it sounds like: not containing a lick of sense. Nonsense words are made up.

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/nonsense


gibberish

Gibberish is nonsense sounds or writing. A baby's babble is often called gibberish. When someone is speaking a foreign language you don't understand, what they're saying will sound to you like gibberish.

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/gibberish

  • 1
    I prefer the first suggestion. – marcellothearcane Aug 30 at 17:48
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    Me too. I'd get rid of "argle-bargle", even if it's a lovely funny sound, it's used more in speech than in text. – Mari-Lou A Aug 30 at 18:23
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Gretchen McCulloch, in an interview with Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty, called it keysmash (https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/an-interview-with-gretchen-mcculloch-transcript).

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While straining to remain apolitical with this response, I would be remiss if I didn't make sure that the answer "covfefe" be include here since you're asking specifically for slang terms.

Ever since May 31, 2017, as a result of US President Donald Trump apparently doing just that or something very similar in effect on Twitter, that has been increasingly called "cofefe," which is the exact string of characters left by Trump and generally gets pronounced "cohv-FEH-feh."

It even gets used as a verb, for example:

"That little socialist was still whining about corporate greed while drinking a $4 Starbucks, so I covfefe'd him."

-Urban Dictionary

"Nevertheless, he covfefe'd."

-Paste Magazine

I came, I saw, I covfefe'd.

-Oregon Live

Links including further information about what "convfefe" has come to mean:

https://www.dictionary.com/e/pop-culture/covfefe/

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cofefe

https://www.wired.com/2017/05/internet-defines-covfefe/

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