How often do we have doubts about the real meaning of a word we are hearing or using…

Or wonder about its etymology. Or… feel the need to ask a question or share an opinion about it.TermCOORD encourages you to participate in this debate by sharing your questions, doubts and opinions, by suggesting terms you are not sure about or by contributing to clear the doubts expressed and to answer the questions posed.


The very nice animal with a long tail, the mouse, you rarely have it in your hands. It’s too fast! But most of us have a mouse in our hands when we work. The mouse of the computer. Its name certainly came from the cable it once had, that was like a tail. But what plural do you think this computer mouse has? MICE? Not at all!!! MOUSES….


Who can answer this question: does spa come from Spa, the renowned Belgian city with the traditional baths, or does it come from “sanus per aquam”, or is it this abbreviation which gave the name to the Belgian city Spa?

So, dear linguists, is it then a seperate term and no longer one word with two meanings?


We all receive spam email messages almost on a daily basis. Although sometimes we would agree with a few false etymologies or explanations of the term, such as the acronym “Stupid Pointless Annoying Messages”, there is an even funnier origins story for it.
According to the Internet Society, the term spam is derived from the 1970 SPAM sketch of the BBC television comedy series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. The sketch is set in a cafe where nearly every item on the menu includes SPAM canned luncheon meat. As the waiter recites the SPAM-filled menu, a chorus of Viking patrons drowns out all conversations with a song repeating “SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM… lovely SPAM! wonderful SPAM!”, hence “SPAMming” the dialogue. The excessive amount of SPAM mentioned in the sketch is a reference to the propinquity in the United Kingdom of imported canned meat products in the years after World War II, as the country struggled to rebuild its agricultural base. SPAM captured a large slice of the British market within lower economic classes and became a byword among British schoolboys of the 1960s for low-grade fodder due to its commonality, monotonic taste and cheap price – whence the humour of the Python sketch.
The earliest electronic documented spam was a message advertising the availability of a new model of Digital Equipment Corporation computers sent to 393 recipients on ARPANET (predecessor of the global Internet) in 1978.

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