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Can Anyone Remember What Words Originally Created the "SPAM" Acronym?

Posted on 11/13/2002 6:35:41 PM PST by SierraWasp

This is a test of the institutional memory of FReeperdom.

My query is first about the tasty canned meat, but also to learn if the current common slang regarding undesirable e-mail is in anyway related, or if that term has it's own independent basis in origination.


TOPICS: Free Republic; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: acronym; ilikecheese; spam
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I still have questions about the FReeper usage of "cheese" and other mysterious lexicon, if anyone cares to illucidate.
1 posted on 11/13/2002 6:35:41 PM PST by SierraWasp
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To: SierraWasp
SPAM == "Shoulder Pork and hAM" or "SPiced hAM"

Origin of the term "spam" to mean net abuse

2 posted on 11/13/2002 6:40:41 PM PST by Lorenb420
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To: SierraWasp
SPAM is not really an acronym. It comes from a Monty Python skit where they all sing SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM...over and over and over again.

Cheese - allegedly comes from "would you like some cheese with that whine".

Moose - Animal that may bite your female relatives.

Shower - Someone posted a terrorist alert and asked to be updated because they were in the shower, or something like that.

Are you logged in - Somebody posted the question "How do I log in?". Of course you must be logged in to post in the first place.....

Host around the sun - forget it, don't ask

I am probably wrong on most of these.
3 posted on 11/13/2002 6:41:33 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: SierraWasp
Spam, as a description of unwanted e-mail, is not an acronym. The term was inspired by the Monty Python comedy troupe, which did a bizarre, hilarious sketch about a restaurant where every dish contains the canned meat Spam. For some reason, a band of Vikings is sitting in this modern-day restaurant, and at odd moments they begin to sing, "Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!"

Now why someone thought of this when coining a nickname for junk e=mail, I don't know. Probably something to do with the idea that there's no getting away from it, and it's constantly being foisted on you by guys wearing horned helmets. Either way, the nickname stuck. People who've never seen the Monty Python routine now use the word while cursing their overstuffed e-mail boxes.
4 posted on 11/13/2002 6:42:10 PM PST by ArcLight
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To: SierraWasp
I'm not sure about the canned meat, but the term for the neverending flow of unwanted email came from the Monty Python "Spam" sketch... At a restaurant, a man asks, "what's on the breakfast menu," and is answered with (paraphrased) "Spam and Eggs... Spam, bacon, eggs, and spam... Spam, Spam, eggs, and Spam... Spam, Spam, Spam, and Spam..." at which vikings begin singing the "Spam Song!"

Mark
5 posted on 11/13/2002 6:42:12 PM PST by MarkL
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To: SierraWasp
Of course it is.

There is a Monty Python sketch about someone going into a restaurant to order breakfast. No matter what he orders, part of the order is "Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam...". He argues that he doesn't like Spam. The waitress tries to placate him by offering him "Spam, spam, and spam. That's only got a little Spam in it."

Early geek culture revolved around things like Monty Python, Star Trek, and Lord of the Rings. Spam became a metaphor for getting a lot of something you don't want and never asked for.
6 posted on 11/13/2002 6:43:24 PM PST by Tokhtamish
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To: SierraWasp
Spam- short for "Spiced Ham"

And the unwanted email which you find in your Inbox on occasion is related to the product, "Spam", immortalized in the Monty Python skit, in which the featured diner features Spam as a primary ingredient.
7 posted on 11/13/2002 6:45:28 PM PST by dionyza
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To: Lorenb420
An interesting SPAM (food) fact. The state with the highest per capita consumption of Spam is Hawaii. And it isn't just a slight blip. Apparently they LOVE that stuff out there and cook it all sorts of ways. Why, I can't figure out.
8 posted on 11/13/2002 6:46:41 PM PST by PJ-Comix
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To: Arkinsaw
I am probably wrong on most of these.

Are you SERIES?

8^)

9 posted on 11/13/2002 6:47:04 PM PST by Constitution Day
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To: Tokhtamish
The term got really popular in April of 1994, when two lawyers from Phoenix named Canter and Siegel posted a message advertising their fairly useless services in an upcoming U.S. "green card" lottery. They had posted their message a few times before, but on April 12, they hired an mercenary programmer to write a simple script to post their ad to every single newsgroup (message board) on USENET, the world's largest online conferencing system. There were several thousand such newsgroups, and each one got the ad.

Say what you want, it's a legacy.

10 posted on 11/13/2002 6:47:08 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: SierraWasp

11 posted on 11/13/2002 6:48:12 PM PST by Brett66
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To: SierraWasp
The most common explanation for the original Hormel name "Spam" is that it's a contraction of "Spiced Ham", although there is some dispute about whether this explanation comes straight from "the source" or not. (Spam is made from a combination of ham and pork shoulder.)

In any case, it's clear the name was purposely a rhyme of "ham" in order to be more appealing, whether or not the "SP" part of the name means anything.

As for the "internet spam", that comes from the Monty Python skit where a man goes into a restaurant and finds that every damned item on the menu has (Hormel's) Spam in it. While reading the menu, the word "Spam" comes up pretty much every other word -- much like wading through your incoming email and finding the unsolicited mail outnumbering the "real" mail. Also in the skit the patrons keep singing a song that goes, "Spam, Spam, Spam... Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam...", which also mimics the feel of an unending stream of unsolicited email arriving in your inbox.


12 posted on 11/13/2002 6:49:06 PM PST by Dan Day
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To: PJ-Comix
Apparently they LOVE that stuff out there and cook it all sorts of ways. Why, I can't figure out.

I found that out via the History Channel quite a while back.
I believe they said that it became popular there during World War II when the American military presence was very high.
Apparently the Spam presence was a little more popular?

CD

13 posted on 11/13/2002 6:49:57 PM PST by Constitution Day
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To: PJ-Comix
An interesting SPAM (food) fact. The state with the highest per capita consumption of Spam is Hawaii. And it isn't just a slight blip. Apparently they LOVE that stuff out there and cook it all sorts of ways. Why, I can't figure out.

Now explain my wife. She has always loved Spam and is not even Hawaiian. Her fav is to slice it thick and fry it in a pan.

I can't stand the stuff. I always found the gelatin oozing out when opening it up to be a turn off.

It seems my Dad had a good bit forced on him while in the Navy. He still can't stand it or mutton. (The mutton was the result of being stuck in NZ for a long time in WWII)

14 posted on 11/13/2002 6:51:23 PM PST by TC Rider
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To: SierraWasp
SPAM is considered a delicacy in South Korea, sorta like caviar in this country. No, sorta like Big Mac in this country!
15 posted on 11/13/2002 6:52:11 PM PST by Revolting cat!
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To: SierraWasp
Spiced Ham.
16 posted on 11/13/2002 6:52:47 PM PST by IronJack
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To: Dan Day
In the latter days of WW2, the Soviet army survived on SPAM. (A gift from us, of course)
17 posted on 11/13/2002 6:53:16 PM PST by blam
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To: PJ-Comix
Apparently they LOVE that stuff out there and cook it all sorts of ways. Why, I can't figure out. Hey...it got me through Y2K with some lots left over.
18 posted on 11/13/2002 6:53:48 PM PST by tubebender
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To: Lorenb420
Simple Protocol for (Annoying/Advertising) Message
19 posted on 11/13/2002 6:54:00 PM PST by tophat9000
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To: Revolting cat!
Specially Processed hAM
20 posted on 11/13/2002 6:54:21 PM PST by MHGinTN
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To: Bush2000

21 posted on 11/13/2002 6:54:36 PM PST by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: SierraWasp
-1937 : SPAM is created at Hormel's home in Austin, MN. It was originally called HORMEL Spiced Ham, until an enterprising young person dreamed up the name SPAM by combining the "SP" from Spiced with the "AM" from Ham. They won $100 for their idea. (source: http://www.holmen.k12.wi.us/drkulas/wsWinter2001/web2q/history.html)
22 posted on 11/13/2002 6:56:21 PM PST by dano1
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To: Arkinsaw
Cheese - allegedly comes from "would you like some cheese with that whine".

No. It comes from OWK's proclivity to post "I like cheese" on inane vanity threads.

23 posted on 11/13/2002 6:56:22 PM PST by Senator Pardek
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To: SierraWasp
The Spam Sketch
 
As featured in the Flying Circus TV Show - Episode 25
 
---------------

About the sketch:

This sketch Not only appeared in the Flying Circus TV Show - Episode 25, it was also performed on their albums, 'Another Monty Python Record', 'Monty Python's The Final Ripoff', and 'Lust for Glory'.

---------------

The cast:

MAN
Eric Idle
WIFE
Graham Chapman
WAITRESS
Terry Jones

---------------

The sketch:

Scene: A cafe. One table is occupied by a group of Vikings with horned helmets on. A man and his wife enter.

Man: You sit here, dear.

Wife: All right.

Man: (to Waitress) Morning!

Waitress: Morning!

Man: Well, what've you got?

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;

Vikings: (starting to chant) 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!

Waitress: ...or Lobster Thermidor au Crevettes with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.

Wife: Have you got anything without spam?

Waitress: Well, there's spam egg sausage and spam, that's not got much spam in it.

Wife: I don't want ANY spam!

Man: Why can't she have egg bacon spam and sausage?

Wife: THAT'S got spam in it!

Man: Hasn't got as much spam in it as spam egg sausage and spam, has it?

Vikings: Spam spam spam spam (crescendo through next few lines)

Wife: Could you do the egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam then?

Waitress: Urgghh!

Wife: What do you mean 'Urgghh'? I don't like spam!

Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

Waitress: Shut up!

Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

Waitress: Shut up! (Vikings stop) Bloody Vikings! You can't have egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam.

Wife: (shrieks) I don't like spam!

Man: Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your spam. I love it. I'm having spam spam spam spam spam spam spam beaked beans spam spam spam and spam!

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

Waitress: Shut up!! Baked beans are off.

Man: Well could I have her spam instead of the baked beans then?

Waitress: You mean spam spam spam spam spam spam... (but it is too late and the Vikings drown her words)

Vikings: (singing elaborately) Spam, spam, spam, spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spaaam! Lovely spam! Wonderful spam. Spa-a-a-a-a-a-a-am! Spa-a-a-a-a-a-a-am! Spa-a-a-a-a-a-a-am! Spa-a-a-a-a-a-a-am! Lovely spam! (Lovely spam!) Lovely spam! (Lovely spam!) Lovely spaaam! Spam, spam, spam, spaaaaam!


24 posted on 11/13/2002 6:56:58 PM PST by Cicero
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To: SierraWasp
http://spam.com/
From spam site time line, contest in 1937 awarded 100$ to the person who combined sp from spice with am from ham.
25 posted on 11/13/2002 6:57:02 PM PST by Slicksadick
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To: mykdsmom; billbears; Overtaxed; wimpycat; freepy smurf
*
26 posted on 11/13/2002 6:59:48 PM PST by Constitution Day
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To: SierraWasp
http://www.ironworks.com/comedy/python/spam.wav
27 posted on 11/13/2002 7:01:00 PM PST by Fzob
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To: SierraWasp
Stuff Posing As Meat
28 posted on 11/13/2002 7:01:54 PM PST by sweetliberty
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To: SierraWasp
You need to check Spam.com (but don't blame it on me)
29 posted on 11/13/2002 7:02:11 PM PST by tubebender
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To: PJ-Comix
When I was in Norway for Cold Weather Training (USMC), for almost two weeks straight our menu consisted of powered eggs and spam for breakfast, spam sandwiches for lunch and spam loaf for dinner.

I have never eaten spam since and I refuse to let that crap in my house!
30 posted on 11/13/2002 7:05:35 PM PST by dpa5923
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To: SierraWasp
"I still have questions about the FReeper usage of "cheese" and other mysterious lexicon"


31 posted on 11/13/2002 7:07:13 PM PST by sweetliberty
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To: SierraWasp
I guess you got your answer - SPiced hAM, AKA Specially Processed Army Meat, from WWII.

It was, in fact, _the_ staple of WWII for much of the world, and hence the Hawaian fascination with it.

I'll tell you what is gross, though - sitting in a foxhole in 1981, and noticing that the "use-by" date on one's half-eaten lunch is 1946.

32 posted on 11/13/2002 7:12:00 PM PST by patton
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To: SierraWasp
Shoulder, Pork and Ham. Shortened to spam.
33 posted on 11/13/2002 7:12:37 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Arkinsaw; MarkL; Tokhtamish; Cicero
The Infamous Monty Python Spam Skit!
34 posted on 11/13/2002 7:14:26 PM PST by mdittmar
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To: SierraWasp
I suspect the SPiced hAM explanation is the correct one. However, during the "1940 House" program on PBS last week, at one point they had the grocer explaining to the ladies that when they first started getting shippments of the stuff, they thought it meant Specially Processed American Meat.

I also read somewhere that during the difficult days of food shortages during the war, some British wag remarked that if spiced ham was SPAM, then that must mean that Dried Eggs were DREGS.

35 posted on 11/13/2002 7:14:33 PM PST by Stefan Stackhouse
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To: Cicero
SPAM!
36 posted on 11/13/2002 7:26:06 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts
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To: Stefan Stackhouse; All
"However, during the "1940 House" program on PBS last week, at one point they had the grocer explaining to the ladies that when they first started getting shippments of the stuff, they thought it meant Specially Processed American Meat."

Bravo!!! Mrs. Wasp is the one that got me goin on this. She was tellin me that it was "Specially Prepared American Meat." Tonite I asked her where she got her info from and she said she seen a PBS program on WW2 and that's what they said it was.

All you FReepers have really got this Wasp's head a buzzin with alla this here information.

37 posted on 11/13/2002 7:30:17 PM PST by SierraWasp
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
I always thought it was a derivation of the smap / smapd which is, according to UNIX Manual pages:

smapd - SMTP proxy (server portion) (SMTP =Simple Mail Tranfer Protocol)

The Firewall Toolkit smapd proxy is an application level proxy that provides configurable access control and logging mechanisms. The smap client proxy together with the smapd server proxy, which run on the firewall, transfer mail between internal and external mail servers, using rules you supply.

All packets, and therefore all application requests go to the firewall. On the firewall, the smap and smapd proxy software relay information from one side of the firewall to the other. They prevent versions of sendmail on the exter- nal network from talking with versions of sendmail on the internal network, and vice versa. No IP packets pass from one side of the firewall to the other. All data is passed at the application level.

The server portion of the SMTP proxy (smapd) generally runs as a daemon (invoked from /etc/rc.local). Periodically, based on a configurable value (by default every 60 seconds), the server daemon (smapd) wakes up and checks to see if there is any new mail that the SMTP client proxy (smap) has placed in the spool directory. The smapd daemon checks the headers of the mail for formatting problems. It then calls the configured message transfer agent (usually sendmail in delivery mode) for final delivery.

38 posted on 11/13/2002 7:41:21 PM PST by freethinkingman
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To: freethinkingman; cardinal4
I heard that it meant "Specially Processed Animal Meat." Works for me.
39 posted on 11/13/2002 7:48:22 PM PST by Ax
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To: ArcLight
"People who've never seen the Monty Python routine now use the word while cursing their overstuffed e-mail boxes."

LOL, this is soooo true, in fact, this word is probably so well established as a word now that it will be used for a very, very long time. By millions of people who have never even heard, or will hear of Monty Python! This is great, this is their legacy to history! No more of this I'm not worthy, forgive me this, forgive me that! Tee-hee, I feel better, I want to go for a walk! No more buttered scones for me, Mater, I'm off to play the Grand Piano!

40 posted on 11/13/2002 7:52:19 PM PST by jocon307
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To: SierraWasp
Everything you ever wanted to know about SPAM....but were afraid to ask !
41 posted on 11/13/2002 8:05:06 PM PST by Tigermoth
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To: ArcLight
Now why someone thought of this when coining a nickname for junk e=mail, I don't know.

Probably something to do with the idea that very very few liked Spam(substitute sandwich food)back when it was first introduced and flooded the food market.

And so it is with posts that are redundantly repetitious or other nonsensical, and likely erroneous, interpretations such as the one you are now reading.

42 posted on 11/13/2002 8:07:02 PM PST by VOYAGER
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To: SierraWasp
Squished Pork And Mush?
43 posted on 11/13/2002 8:08:52 PM PST by harpo11
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To: jocon307
I think if I'd had to eat my mother's fried spam rolled in cornmeal a few more times, I'd have used the holy hand grenade of Antioch on myself and been pushing up the daisies as an ex-freeper. The only reason I'd be sitting in my computer chair right now is that my feet'd be nailed to it.

Some people say the term spam goes back to the days of Torquemada, when the spaniards made a dish of spiced pork and ham, but nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition explanation. The three things used to make spam are Spice, Pork, Ham & Gelatin...Wait, the four things used to make spam are Spice, Pork, Ham, Gelatin & an unerring devotion to the Pope...Wait, the five things....

44 posted on 11/13/2002 8:12:14 PM PST by TheLurkerX
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To: ArcLight; SierraWasp
Now why someone thought of this [the Monty Python Span routine] when coining a nickname for junk e=mail, I don't know.

I heard that in the early days of online chatrooms, people would--for some reason I've forgotten--type to each other lines from that Monty Python routine.

This would continue until everyone's monitor was filled with the word, "Spam."

And so the word became associated with a blitz of annoying information to your computer.

(I got that explanation from the "Says You" radio quiz show a month or so ago. Website: http://www.wgbh.org/wgbh/radio/saysyou/)

45 posted on 11/13/2002 8:12:38 PM PST by Age of Reason
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To: SierraWasp
I've always liked a hot grilled SPAM sandwich with lots of mayonaise and now I know nearly its entire history but...what does the acronym IIRC mean? I've been trying for weeks to figure it out from its context.
46 posted on 11/13/2002 8:35:49 PM PST by TigersEye
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To: PJ-Comix
Yeah, well, the Hawaiians eat poi too. You ever eat poi? Nasty stuff. Tastes exactly like wallpaper paste. But the Hawaiians love the stuff. Ah well...climate makes up for it, and the gorgeous women.
47 posted on 11/13/2002 8:36:06 PM PST by ArcLight
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To: SierraWasp
My dad was a lifer and he called it SPASM. The "S" stood for sh-t!
48 posted on 11/13/2002 8:39:25 PM PST by Chapita
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To: TheLurkerX
LurkerX wins prize for funniest post in this thread! LOL!
49 posted on 11/13/2002 8:40:35 PM PST by ArcLight
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
LOL, thanks!
50 posted on 11/13/2002 8:41:38 PM PST by Bush2000
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