Ever wonder why junk email is called Spam? It is indeed named after the spiced pork product in a can first manufactured by Hormel in the USA back in 1937. (Spam is short for spiced ham.)
The product became popular worldwide during WWII. While it’s looked down on in most places in the foodie era, it’s still quite popular in some places like Hawaii.
Unwanted email picked up the name from a Monty Python sketch that first aired back in 1970. The bit is about a cafe that serves a Spam-based menu and includes Vikings shouting and singing about Spam.
The name was first applied to unwanted floods of data back in the 1980s. It looks as if the first time it was used to describe unwanted messages was back in the early 1990s.
While we’re at it, let’s talk about the origin of another term: Phishing.
Fishing is called fishing because hackers attempt to hook you with bait to steal your passwords and financial data. They cast out the emails and wait to see who bites.
The PH is because hackers commonly replace the f in words with ph.
So, that’s where all the phishing Spam comes from.