Etymology [ spam ] (noun.) 1994. 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 spiced ham but was soon extended to other kinds of canned meat. The use for unsolicited and unwanted email derives from a Monty Python sketch (). In the 1970 sketch, a restaurant's menu has many items with spam, and it includes Vikings who would not stop singing the word. See SPAM. The earliest recorded real-life use for this sense occurs around 1993 (e.g. see this link: which finds reference in an email - at - dated March 31 1993) The term appears to have been used earlier in a different sense in relation to "Multi-User Dungeons" (MUDs), a form of multi-user computer environment before widespread use of the Internet, in the 1980's. See for details. As of late, the term spam has begun to take on a new meaning and has entered the American lexicon, with it being used to denote not only electronic, but also other variations of advertisements seen as being annoying or inappropriate.