Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk e-mail.
  • noun A single piece of such e-mail.
  • transitive verb To send unsolicited e-mail to.
  • transitive verb To send (a message) indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable, computing, Internet A collection of unsolicited bulk electronic messages.
  • noun uncountable, computing, Internet Any undesired electronic content automatically generated for commercial purposes.
  • noun countable, rare, computing, Internet An unsolicited electronic message sent in bulk, usually by email or newsgroups.
  • noun Alternative form of SPAM. (tinned meat product)
  • verb intransitive, computing, Internet To send spam (i.e. unsolicited electronic messages.)
  • verb transitive, computing, Internet To send spam (i.e. unsolicited electronic messages) to a person or entity.
  • verb transitive, by extension, video games To relentlessly attack an enemy with (a spell or ability).

Etymologies

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

[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).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

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

    Digital Inspiration - Technology Blog

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

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz

  • * 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.

    Chris Weigant: 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.

    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

  • 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:

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • 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

  • 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

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

    April 6, 2008

  • 1783 spam here.

    (note: not really)

    October 7, 2008

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

    October 18, 2008

  • "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

  • 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

  • "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

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

    April 18, 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