flash mob

(FLASH mawb)
A large group of people who gather in a usually predetermined location, perform some brief action, and then quickly disperse. — v., — adj.
flash mobber n.
flash mobbing pp.
Example Citation:
The Internet has spawned a gaggle of new verbs — Googling, surfing and flaming are words most of us are used to hearing in everyday conversation. Now you can add "flash mobbing" to that list.
In recent weeks, New Yorkers have been using forwarded e-mails to coordinate "flash mobs," or not-so-random crowds that appear and dissipate within a matter of minutes. Is it performance art? The cutting edge of a new social movement? Or just an easy way to flummox carpet salesmen?
To protect the planned serendipity of each event, participants aren't told exactly what the mob is supposed to do until just before the event happens. For the most recent New York happening on July 2, participants passed around an e-mail telling them to assemble at the food court in Grand Central Station, where organizers (identifiable by the copies of the New York Review of Books they were holding) then gave mobbers printed instructions regarding what to do next.
The result: Shortly after 7 p.m., about 200 people suddenly assembled on the mezzanine level of the Grand Hyatt Hotel next to Grand Central Station, applauded loudly for 15 seconds, then left.
— Maureen Ryan, "All in a flash: Meet, mob and move on," Chicago Tribune, July 11, 2003
Earliest Citation:
As proof that some people have way too much time on their hands, consider the "flash mob" phenomenon.
Organizing a "flash mob" basically involves e-mailing a bunch of people with instructions to show up at a certain place for a few moments, then disappear.
According to www.cheesebikini.com, salespeople in New York were a bit confused when there was a huge, instant gathering around a particular rug. The flash mobbers agreed to tell the salespeople they all lived together in a warehouse in Queens and were thinking of buying a rug. The crowd dissipated after precisely 10 minutes. Poof.
— Kim Lamb Gregory, "Briefs," Ventura County Star, July 1, 2003
First Use:
Our senior Manhattan correspondent David Danzig reports that New Yorkers are using e-mail to coordinate "inexplicable mobs" — huge crowds that materialize in public places and suddenly dissipate 10 minutes later.
— Sean Savage, "Flash Mobs Take Manhattan," cheesebikini.com, June 16, 2003
This phrase was most likely inspired by two related phrases. The first is flash crowd, which I define as a sharp and often overwhelming increase in the number of users attempting to access a Web site simultaneously, usually in response to some event or announcement (see the Word Spy entry for this term to get a bit of background about its origins); the second is smart mob, the leaderless gathering and moving of like-minded people who are organized using technologies such as cell phones, e-mail, and the Web. The latter was popularized by the writer Howard Rheingold in his 2002 book Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution.
Note, as well, that flash mob has a wonderful synonym: inexplicable mob.
Related Words: Categories:
They even sell shirts where you can sport the fact that you were a "flash mobber"!
http://www.zazzle.com/Monamae: http://www.zazzle.com/MonamaeHere is a short music video that captures a sense of what flash mobs are all about... enjoy:
music by Joe Carvalho, lead guitarist for Eva Cappelli & The Watershops Band

New words. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Flash Mob —  Pour l album de Vitalic, voir FlashMob. Une bataille d oreillers dans le centre de Toronto lors d un flash mob. Un flash mob, terme anglais traduit généralement par foule éclair ou mobilisation éclair, est le rassemblement d un groupe de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • flash mob — flash•mob or flash mob [[t]ˈflæʃˌmɒb[/t]] n. a group of people brought together through mass e mails, text messages, or social media to gather suddenly in a particular place, perform an odd, purposeless act, and then leave,: A well choreographed… …   From formal English to slang

  • flash mob — noun A group of people who arrange to assemble briefly in a public place to perform some activity, often of a humorous or surreal nature • • • Main Entry: ↑flash …   Useful english dictionary

  • Flash mob — Flashmob redirects here. For the Vitalic album, see Flashmob (album). Flash mobs, like this pillow fight flash mob in downtown Toronto, are designed to surprise passers by. A flash mob (or flashmob)[1] is a group of people who assemble suddenly… …   Wikipedia

  • Flash mob — Pour l’album de Vitalic, voir FlashMob. Une bataille d oreillers sur Dundas Square, dans le centre de Toronto, lors d une flash mob. Un ou une flash mob …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Flash Mob — Szene eines Flashmobs vor dem Musikvereinssaal in Wien Der Begriff Flashmob (flash – Blitz; mob – von mobilis – beweglich), auch Blitzauflauf, bezeichnet einen kurzen, scheinbar spontanen Menschenauflauf auf öffentlichen oder halböffentlichen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • flash mob — /ˈflæʃ mɒb/ (say flash mob) noun a group of people who gather together, apparently coincidentally, at a particular time at a prearranged public location and engage in a predetermined activity or performance and then disperse. –flash mobber, noun… …   Australian English dictionary

  • flash mob — ● ►en loc. f. ►SOC Sorte de manif éclair en forme d émeute. Le phénomène a pris naissance début 2003 à New York. Le principe est simple: quelques centaines de personnes se donnent discrètement rendez vous dans un lieu public par des moyens ultra… …   Dictionnaire d'informatique francophone

  • flash mob — noun a public gathering of complete strangers, organized via the Internet or mobile phone, who perform a pointless act and then disperse again. Derivatives flash mobber noun flash mobbing noun …   English new terms dictionary

  • flash mob — I UK [ˈflæʃˌmɒb] / US [ˈflæʃˌmɑb] noun [countable] a large group of people who suddenly gather in a public place, do something for a short time, and quickly go away again II UK / US verb [intransitive] a) to suddenly gather in a public place, do… …   English dictionary

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