Acronyms: SPAM

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On July 5, 1937 the luncheon meat Spam, was introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation. The name “Spam” was chosen when the product, whose original name was far less memorable (Hormel Spiced Ham), began to lose market share. The name was chosen from multiple entries in a naming contest. A Hormel official once stated that the original meaning of the name “Spam” was “Shoulder of Pork and Ham”. According to writer Marguerite Patten in Spam – The Cookbook, the name was suggested by Kenneth Daigneau, an actor and the brother of a Hormel vice president, who was given a $100 prize for creating the name.

At one time and persisting to this day in certain books, the theory behind the naming of Spam was that the name stood for “Spiced Meat and Ham”. According to the British documentary-reality show “1940s House”, when Spam was offered by the United States to those affected by World War II in the UK, Spam stood for “Specially Processed American Meats”. Yesterday’s Britain, a popular history published by Reader’s Digest in 1998, described Spam as “Supply Pressed American Meat” –  an imported “wartime food” of the 1940s. Many jocular acronymns have been devised, such as “Something Posing As Meat”, “Specially Processed Artificial Meat”, “Stuff, Pork and Ham”, “Spare Parts Animal Meat” and “Special Product of Austin Minnesota”. (Wikipedia)