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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. Hormel spells the trademarked name in all upper case.
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". 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)
spam m (plural spams)
As the word starts with two consonants, some Turkish people will have difficulties to spell it correctly. It may be spelled also sıpam.