Spam Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

Spam is one of the most common, yet most frustrating things in the world today. Here is the meaning of spam and how you can avoid it!

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Spam (spæm) is one of those words with two equally important meanings that happen to be entirely different. This makes spam one of the most exciting options for a “word of the day.” 

While the definition of spam might be shifting wildly between two meanings, the context almost makes it easy to understand which meaning the word has at the time. Here is how to understand this word and use it properly, no matter how it’s being used! 

What Does Spam Mean in Technology? 

Within modern technology, spam is an annoying and sometimes harmful form of unwanted contact. Two common examples of spam include unsolicited email messages that link to scams and excessive text messages sent by hackers to introduce malware to a person’s Android phone. If a message is unsolicited, it’s often spam. 

Because of that, many internet users have become pretty good at identifying spam and getting away from it. Some forums help people know what emails might be phishing spam messages. There are spam filters that block spammers, some of which are even offered by internet service providers. Almost all email applications have a way to automatically filter spam into a junk e-mail folder, which can help automatically get rid of a large number of trojan viruses and annoying email spam. 

While spam is one of the most annoying parts of modern technology and information technology, it’s something that can easily be alleviated and avoided. With the number of emails and messages a person receives daily, most people already know how to automatically sift through unwanted e-mails. Any needed information on the validity of a message is almost always available through a quick online search. 

What Does Spam Mean in Food? 

Before the internet existed, spam had an entirely different meaning. Instead of being defined as unsolicited messages on social media, spam was a highly popular kind of canned meat, primarily made from ham. Its existence as one of the leading products of Hormel foods has made it one of the world’s most famous food products. 

The word spam was first used in the 1930s as an acronym for “spiced ham.” Spam was much easier to say, and it allowed people to communicate what they wanted efficiently and effectively. It first rose to popularity in World War II, when canned foods were seen as essential for soldiers in the harsh conditions of war. Spam was known to last for incredibly long periods, making it a great battlefield food. 

Throughout the 1900s, can-spam was seen as a popular luncheon meat. As time passed, many different forms and flavors of spam have been created. If you’re ever looking to try this historical food, spam is available at almost all grocery stores. 

Why Does Spam Have Two Meanings? 

It can be confusing that one word has two different meanings. So, why is that the case? It comes down to what spam really is. 

Spam (the meat product) is typically seen as a combination of many low-quality types of meat. Many people and cultures find spam delicious, but some people find the idea unappealing. While there isn’t an objective answer for whether spam tastes good, there are some vocal haters. 

Because of that, people decided to use the word spam as a metaphor for junk mail. As time went on, the word became more associated with unsolicited messages online until dictionaries and websites caved and decided to just make that word the actual definition. 

While Hormel Foods likely isn’t a massive fan of this new meaning, it at least gets the word into people’s minds so that maybe when they see it in a store, they already have a little bit of brand recognition. Some say that “all press is good press,” While that may not be universally true, it’s still one way to look at the situation! 


If you’re looking for a resource and place to better understand some of the more confusing or complex parts of the English language, you should look into our blog here at The Word Counter

We’re constantly putting up new articles and posts about the finer and more intricate details of English words, phrases, and grammar. It’s often hard to get everything you need to know from simple word lists of synonyms and antonyms, and that’s why we dedicate whole blog posts here at The Word Counter to individual words. 

One of the best ways to increase your viability and success today is by improving your communication skills. Checking out our blog for even a couple of minutes can vastly increase your skills and effectiveness in saying exactly what you want to say! If you’re going to invest in yourself for years to come, feel free to take a couple of minutes to learn some valuable information about the English language here! 


  1. Spam Definition & Meaning | Britannica
  2. Spam definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
  3. Spam Definition & Meaning |