Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk e-mail.
  • transitive v. To send unsolicited e-mail to.
  • transitive v. To send (a message) indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A collection of unsolicited bulk electronic messages.
  • n. Any undesired electronic content automatically generated for commercial purposes.
  • n. An unsolicited electronic message sent in bulk, usually by email or newsgroups.
  • n. Alternative form of SPAM. (tinned meat product)
  • v. To send spam (i.e. unsolicited electronic messages.)
  • v. To send spam (i.e. unsolicited electronic messages) to a person or entity.
  • v. To relentlessly attack an enemy with (a spell or ability).

Etymologies

From Spam (probably inspired by a comedy routine on the British television series Monty Python's Flying Circus, in which the word is repeated incessantly).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A: Send a message to Twitter spam watch team at @spam with the suspicious user name.

    Digital Inspiration - Technology Blog

  • * a reply to @spam like so: @spam this is a spam account: @bigmoney5 and we'll take care of it.

    TechCrunch

  • 13: 19 RT: @JamesRivers @MariSmith No kidding … just found out best practice is to send spam accounts or fake accounts to @spam when you see them rossgoldberg that's terrible! aren't they going to refund your $? melbournegirl I actually have seen that .. what does that say about me?

    Jennie's Palette

  • Tailrank was “designed with spam prevention in mind. ” If Techcrunch was designed with ’spam prevention in mind’ I’m sure you’d have 90% less content

    Time To DeadPool TailRank? You Decide.

  • Because the term spam is now so universally accepted to describe unwanted email (even Hormel has largely given up on trying to stamp such usage out), it follows that the story of its origins -- complete with the original Monty Python "Spam sketch" -- will live forever in the digital world.

    From The Pentagon To Monty Python: The Internet Turns 40

  • Because the term spam is now so universally accepted to describe unwanted email even Hormel has largely given up on trying to stamp such usage out, it follows that the story of its origins -- complete with the original Monty Python "Spam sketch" -- will live forever in the digital world.

    Chris Weigant: From The Pentagon To Monty Python: The Internet Turns 40

  • In response to my gripe about campaign spam from the Bush-Cheney Campaign, I received confirmation that apparently campaign spam is bipartisan this go-around:

    The Volokh Conspiracy » DEMS SPAM TOO:

  • The term spam has such a negative connotation that I cannot stomach the thought of eating

    Site Home

  • The actual generation and sending of the spam is a very small proportion of the footprint.

    What's the carbon footprint of ... email?

  • Sometimes I've gotten myself called spam, which is especially discouraging.

    Self-promotion

Comments

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  • My goodness, the spam is getting knee-deep around here.

    December 31, 2013

  • This is the first time I've ever wished there were some spam on the community page--I sooooo want to try out the new "Spam?" option.

    April 17, 2012

  • Thanks hernesheir! We're doing an extravigorous spam crackdown and sweep this weekend. :-)

    January 6, 2012

  • The recent New York Times article featuring Wordnik has alerted a wave of SEI spammers to a new venue to post their website address in the form of List names and comments on their usernames. Wordnik does admit, on its Community storefront, to over 80,000 Wordniks. If just one of us bought Ugg(ly) boots or went to a treatment center in Alaska or Alabama, the world would be a better place, right?

    January 6, 2012

  • JM has heard it said ‘I’m pink therefore I’m spam’.

    August 26, 2011

  • I second gangerh's comment of two months ago, but ima also post it on Feedback.

    April 12, 2010

  • It seems to me that spammers join wordnik and the first thing they do is add a comment to their profile.
    (Showing up on Zeitgeist as, for instance, 'on pongsomespammer's profile, pongsomespammer said').
    I suspect that genuine wordnik joiners do not do this until after some time and after some other activity , and probably after another wordnik has posted to their profile comments.
    If this is indeed true, is there some way of using this fact to immediately filter out these spammers?

    January 31, 2010

  • The list title in Arabic is the same domain name. The words in the list description are an odd mish-mash of this and that. I'm not sure what it is.

    November 25, 2009

  • (This doesn't necessarily mean it's not spam, but still...)

    November 25, 2009

  • Ah, that could be. Good thinking. :-)

    November 25, 2009

  • I think alamoudi meant to add those words in the list description to the list itself.

    November 25, 2009

  • Given that alamoudi hasn't made anything but that one list (with nothing on it) and his/her/its profile contains two separate references to that domain, I'm leaning toward spam. I don't speak Arabic but that stuff smells the same in any language.

    November 25, 2009

  • Can anyone here read Arabic and tell whether this is spam, or just happens to feature a domain name? I don't want to make any accusations based on uncertain Google Translate results.

    November 25, 2009

  • Further discussion (of both types of spam) on bilby's list.

    June 13, 2009

  • Some fun spam comments I've received on one of my blogs recently:

    "School is very importance for our children and your blog contain about teacher, I love it. Teacher will be good teach for our child."

    "Any good books is very effective to us. I like every type of good books."

    May 12, 2009

  • We can only hope.

    There are some insights on Italy in this book, Pro, so stay tuned to the list if you are interested to read them. Coming soon :-)

    April 18, 2009

  • Did Milligan feed Mussolini spam fritters as his "part in his downfall"?

    April 18, 2009

  • "We lined up head on to a trio of Navy cooks, who doled out Spam Fritters, Bread, Marge, Jam and Tea and avoided looking at it when they did. We ate on top deck enjoying the sea breeze, the pleasant weather ... were we really going to war or were we on our way to Southend for the day?"
    - Spike Milligan, 'Mussolini: My Part In His Downfall.'

    April 18, 2009

  • Received today. Pretty deep stuff!

    Subject line: Does she talk that does not love you?

    Inside text: How many do you outlay in a month?

    February 5, 2009

  • "2008 Economic Stimulus Refund - $500,000.00 USD"

    Thus reads the subject line of a piece of rather enticing spam I recently received.

    December 21, 2008

  • Woman maps yam snot and DNA — tons may spam Nam. Ow!

    October 18, 2008

  • 1783 spam here.

    (note: not really)

    October 7, 2008

  • When used in regard to unsolicited email etc., the word has been assigned the acronym "Short Pointless Annoying Message".

    April 6, 2008

  • Also a colloquialism for unsolicited e-mail, obnoxious advertisements of all types, and stupid forum posts. This definition was purportedly inspired by this Monty Python skit (Google Video). "Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!"

    December 17, 2006

  • SPAM luncheon meat, whose name is a portmanteau of "spiced ham" has been unofficially assigned acronyms such as "Specially Processed Assorted Meat" and "Some Parts Are Meat

    December 12, 2006