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The original sense (canned ham) is a proprietary name registered by Geo. A. Hormel & Co. in U.S., 1937. It is presumed to be a conflation of either spiced ham or shoulder of pork and ham but was soon extended to other kinds of canned meat.
The use for unsolicited and unwanted email derives from a Monty Python sketch (Flying Circus, Episode 25). In the 1970 sketch, a group of Vikings in a restaurant repeatedly chant the word "spam". See SPAM. The earliest recorded real-life use for this sense occurs around 1993 which finds reference in an email dated March 31, 1993.
The term appears to have been used earlier in a different sense in relation to "Multi-User Dungeons" (MUDs), a kind of multi-user computer gaming environment before widespread use of the Internet, in the 1980s.
- (uncountable, computing, Internet) A collection of unsolicited bulk electronic messages.
2013 May 25, “No hiding place”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8837, page 74:
- In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result. If the bumf arrived electronically, the take-up rate was 0.1%. And for online adverts the “conversion” into sales was a minuscule 0.01%. That means about $165 billion was spent not on drumming up business, but on annoying people, creating landfill and cluttering spam filters.
- I get far too much spam.
- (uncountable, computing, Internet) Any undesired electronic content automatically generated for commercial purposes.
- (countable, rare, computing, Internet) An unsolicited electronic message sent in bulk, usually by email or newsgroups.
- I received 58 spams yesterday.
- Alternative form of (tinned meat product)
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
- (intransitive, computing, Internet) To send spam (i.e. unsolicited electronic messages.)
- (transitive, computing, Internet) To send spam (i.e. unsolicited electronic messages) to a person or entity.
- (transitive, by extension, video games) To relentlessly attack an enemy with (a spell or ability).
- Stop spamming that special attack!
- (transitive, intransitive, computing, Internet) To post the same text repeatedly with disruptive effect; to flood.
spam (genitive spams)
- imperative of
spam m (plural spams)
spam (plural spams)
spam m (invariable)
spam m (plural spans)
As the word starts with two consonants, some Turkish people will have difficulties to spell it correctly. It may be spelled also sıpam.