WHY is junk email called Spam?

SPAM is the trademarked name of a canned meat product (“spicy meat and ham”) that was first produced by Hormel Foods Corp. in Austin, Minn., in 1937 and became widely known from its use by U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.

The use of the term to mean unwanted mass e-mail derives from a famous Monty Python sketch, first broadcast in 1970, where a couple ordering breakfast is confronted with a menu that is heavy on one specific ingredient, as you can see below.

Waitress: Well, there’s egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam …

Chorus of Vikings (chanting): Spam spam spam spam …

Waitress: … spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam …

Vikings (singing): Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!

The wife doesn’t want spam, but she has little choice.

Pretty well sums up most people’s attitude toward unwanted commercial e-mail.

Privacy Preference Center

Strictly Necessary Cookies

Cookies that are necessary for the website to work properly... Used for anti-spam purposes, to display messages after a form is submitted, and for Privacy Policy and Consent Management.



Google Analytics helps us see how our website is used. Your IP address may be transmitted to Google and used to analyze how often a user revisits our website, and which pages are viewed. Information is never used to identify you personally.

__utma, __utmb, __utmc, __utmt, __utmz
__utma, __utmb, __utmc, __utmt, __utmz

Close your account?

Your account will be closed and all data will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered. Are you sure?

Are you sure?

By disagreeing you will no longer have access to our site and will be logged out.