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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.




Etymology, in a nutshell, means the science of the origin and history of words and their meanings.

It has probably happened to you at times that you wondered about the etymological origin of certain terms.




Perhaps the term "spam" is one of them, which is now on everyone's lips. Some might have thought that this term originated from the digital era, but they would be mistaken. So why are unwanted unsolicited emails called "spam"?


Spiced Ham


The origin of the term lies in the abbreviation of this term - SPiced hAM was shortened to Spam. "Spiced Ham" refers to seasoned or cured pork, also known as canned meat or breakfast meat, first introduced to the market by Hormel Foods in the 1930s and then widely spread under the name Spam from 1957 onwards.


World War II


Canned meat gained additional popularity during World War II as a food supply for frontline soldiers. The famous British comedy group "Monty Python" launched a TV gag where tables were filled with canned meat, or Spam. Thus, Spam became synonymous with an item that is of low value and abundantly available.


Unwanted Emails


Following that, the commonly known term "spam" for unwanted and abundantly present goods was adopted into the digital world, referring to unsolicited emails.