Spam, spam, wonderful spam!

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.

Can you say Creepy?
Vintage Housewife. I mean old spam ad.

Monty Python invented spam?

When Spam was excluded from the British food rationing during World War II a few hearty Brits decided to speak up. The Spam sketch was recorded on 25 June 1970 and aired on British TV as episode 25 of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Watch the clip for 132 ways to say 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…

What about Radio Spam?

“In 1970 Monty Python’s Flying Circus lay in ruins, and then the words on the screen said…
The End.
P.S. If you are satisfied with those answers then so be it, but if you think there is more to it, here is my slightly twisted five cents. The canned product has nothing to do with it. I think the original word featured in the Monty Python song was ‘sperm’ and not ‘spam’…
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