Did you know the word “spam” comes from this Monty Python sketch?

Spam is a word so integrated in our life that email services have a dedicated folder for it, but where does it come from? Surprisingly (?), it is not a tech term. It comes from a Monty Python sketch that predates the internet, and it refers to a brand of canned cooked pork.

In the sketch, set in a restaurant, Spam features in almost every dish. Following WWII, Spam was so easily available in the UK (and other parts of the world) that it found its way to many dishes, such as Spam Yorkshire Breakfast and Spam Hash. The British (and not only them) eventually grew tired of Spam, which may be the reasoning behind the skit.

The maker of Spam, Hormel Foods Corporation, embraced the joke and even sponsored the spin-off Broadway musical “Spamalot” in 2005. Two years later, Hormel Foods Corporation lost in a trademark lawsuit against the tech company Spam Arrest, which blocks unwanted e-mail.

You can watch the sketch below. Enjoy!