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Warum nennt man unerwünschte E-Mails Spam?

Where does the widespread term "SPAM" come from?

22 March 2021

In 20 seconds of reading, you will learn the origin of this popular term.




In a nutshell, etymology is the study of the origin and history of words and their meanings.

You have probably wondered about the etymological origins of certain terms.




Perhaps the term "spam" is one of those that is on everyone's lips these days. Some may have thought that this term originated in the digital age, but they would be wrong. So why is unwanted, unsolicited email called "spam"?


Spiced ham


The origin of the term lies in its abbreviation - SPiced hAM was shortened to Spam. "Spiced ham refers to seasoned or cured pork, also known as canned meat or breakfast meat, first introduced by Hormel Foods in the 1930s and widely distributed under the name Spam since 1957.


World War II


Canned meat gained additional popularity during World War II as a food supply for front-line soldiers. The famous British comedy group "Monty Python" started a TV gag in which tables were filled with canned meat, or Spam. Thus, Spam became synonymous with an item of low value and abundant availability.


Unwanted email


Subsequently, the common term "spam" for unwanted and abundant goods was adopted in the digital world to refer to unsolicited email.