How the Word ‘Spam’ Came To Be

We hear the word spam when referring to mass amount of e-mails pinging our inboxes, advertisement newspapers in our mailboxes, and of course, annoying telemarketing calls plaguing our cell phones. But have you ever stopped to think how this strange word came to be associated with unwanted information?

We hear the word spam when referring to mass amount of e-mails pinging our inboxes, advertisement newspapers in our mailboxes, and of course, annoying telemarketing calls plaguing our cell phones. But have you ever stopped to think how this strange word came to be associated with unwanted information?

We did a little researched, and were quite entertained by the fact that the word ‘Spam’ comes from the world’s weirdest World War II processed foods, and a very famous scene from British surreal comedy group, Monty Python.

spam

Spam, in all its canned meat glory, was first introduced in 1937 by Hormel Foods, and was promoted throughout World War II in the United States. In present, day, Spam is sold in over 100 countries, and is often poked fun at for being a ‘fake meat,’ or as the Monty Python skits predict, the ‘last resort’ when you want to eat something.

Monty Python created a skit that was televised in 1970. Two customers are ordering breakfast in a café named ‘The Greasy Spoon Café,’ and the only thing on the menu is the canned meat, Spam. As the scene progresses, songs are sung, and the word Spam is mentioned 103 times in 3 minutes. At the end of the skit, we are left recounting the repetitive and unwanted presence of ‘spam’ in the sketch.