Ever wondered where the word “spam” comes from?
Spam? Is that when you send lots of irrelevant garbage to people you want to annoy the hell out of? Although we use the word to refer to unsolicited email or network abuse, the term is in fact a portmanteau (vintage slang for combo) of the words “SPiced hAM”, first introduced to mystery meat lovers in 1937.
Monty Python invented spam?
How the term ‘spammer’ came to be is still shrouded in mystery but there is no doubt it originated on USENET (early web forum meets email that predates the internet by over a decade).
When the internet used to be called Arpanet, university students would send the words of the Monty Python skit to new users and crash their systems in the process. The idea of repeatedly sounding a single useless message over and over again obviously had something to do with it. Nudge, nudge, wink wink, know what I mean?
In 1978 A salesman (naturally) commissioned a mercenary hacker to write code that would allow him to send his brochure to every user on the system. Gary Thuerk’ message got through and he was tarred and feathered as the first official spammer in history. Gary now calls himself the father of spam and works at Hewlett-Packard…