June 12, 2007


Spam - Unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk e-mail

This one's origin had me in splits. Today's Yahoo news article on Spam being Hawaii's favorite food is what led me to it. Turns out Spam is the brand name of a canned seasoned pork product, created in the United States, which is really a portmanteau of "Spiced Ham". Because it wasn't rationed like beef, it was abundantly available and Spam became an all-American staple during World War II.

The term was supposedly coined from a Monty Python television skit in the early 1970s, in which every item on a restaurant menu contained SPAM, and there was nothing a customer could do to get a meal without it. A group of Vikings in the restaurant sing about the meat product, "Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, lovely spam! Wonderful spam!", to drown out all other conversation, until told to shut up. The word "Spam" is uttered at least 132 times. As a result, something that keeps being repeated to great annoyance was called spam, and computer programmers picked up on it.

Trivia: The Hormel company, the makers of the meat product Spam, while never quite happy with the use of the word spam for junk email, have always seemed supportive of Monty Python and their skit. The skit is part of the company's Spam museum in Austin, MN, United States and is performed every day by local actors.

Sources: www.answers.com


suramya said...

this was hilarious, who knew that there was such a funny story behind spam.

Moi said...

i know.....i thought it would be another wild goose chase pursuing this one but as it turns out it left me smiling for a while :)

666 said...

Though a superb effort I would like to put to test the soundness of the link between email spam and it-was-repeated-132-times-hence-oft-repeated-story.

I faintly recall... a competition was held for the best original 'four letter word' to describe the habit of incessant mailing and the entry which won was spam. Offcorrs in all possibility the winner could have got that word from the Monty Python reference.

So more cud to chew on .. my dear ruminates

Abhishek Rudresh said...

The part which really appealed to my rather skewed sense of reality is the fact that there is, in fact, a spam museum! Something tells me, they'd be using a HUGE quantity of room fresheners there :P

Moi said...

666: go ahead , put it to test and my research shall prevail ..haha!!! awlright, i looked it up on ur insistence and even found a UK govt. document where the company , Hormel states that it has a problem with Spam being used or junk email and they come to the agreement that spam for mails will be all lowercase letters while SPAM as trademark has all uppercase.....The origins in the document too state that the word comes form Monty Python's skit!!!

Here u go :

Abhishek: it always amuses moi how companies have their own museums here : the most famous being Coke's in Atlanta ..then there's the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada.....a hard-core capitalistic society???

yogsma said...

supposedly passing a meat :-))..excellent post Moi

Jas Bhambra said...

Hmm, so Spam is a portmontaeu! I had often wondered why they called it Spam.