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Word origin of "ham" Ham. Amateur radio operators are often referred to as
"hams" -- a term with a complicated history. At the start of the 1900s,
"ham" was sometimes used to refer to someone as "unskilled" -- "Ham
actor" being the most common example. Wire-line telegraphy employees at
this time had a rich vocabulary of insults for describing
less-than-capable operators, and in...