Shoppers are only just learning what ASOS actually stands for after 24 years

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ASOS ships to all 195 countries (Image: Bloomberg via Getty Images)
ASOS ships to all 195 countries (Image: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

It sells more than 850 brands as well as its own range of clothing and accessories, but shoppers are only just learning what ASOS actually stands for. Founded by Nick Robertson, Andrew Regan, Quentin Griffiths and Deborah Thorpe, the online fashion retailer ships to all 195 countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe.

Since its launch in 2000, ASOS has acquired Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge from the collapsed Philip Green's Arcadia Group. However, it started out exclusively selling imitations of clothing worn by superstars on television, in movies and in music videos.

This inspired the company's name ASOS, which originally stood for AsSeenOnScreen, with the tagline "Buy what you see on film and TV". Speaking about the change from in-person to online shopping, founder Nick Robertson said on WWD: "The high street's presence is being democratised. Twentysomethings have better things to do than go to the high street.

Read more: 'I took DNA test for a laugh - and accidentally uncovered my mum's devious past'

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Woman living on remote Irish island jumps on plane just to do ASOS return eidexiqreiqtrinvWoman living on remote Irish island jumps on plane just to do ASOS return

"She has 10 to 20 brands in her closet. If she is online, is she going to go to 10 to 20 websites? The world’s largest brand is in their pocket [via a mobile device]." Commenting on the revelation online, one Twitter user said: "You're telling me that ASOS stands for As Seen On Screen?!?!?!" Another user added: "Apparently ASOS stands for As Seen On Screen? Did not know?" A third commenter said: "Whoa. I don't know why I never thought to look it up."

It comes after foodies came to learn SPAM isn't an acronym but is likely a portmanteau, a made-up word coined from a combination of two or more words - such as 'brother' and 'romance' creating a 'bromance'. Spam, stylised as SPAM, was created by Hormel Foods Corporation in 1937 to increase the sale of pork shoulder, a cut which did not sell well.

Ken Daigneau, brother of a Hormel Foods vice president, won a contest - and $100 - for naming the SPAM brand - but ever since then, people have been wondering what the 'acronym' actually stand for. Taking to Reddit, one confused user asked: "What does the acronym SPAM (meat) mean to you?"

In response, one user said: "Shoulder Pork and Meat." Another user added: "Spare Parts of Animal Meat... At least that's what us kids called it." A third user said: "Salted Pork Aggregated Meat." A statement reads: "There are some questions that continually plague man over time. Questions like 'Is there intelligent life beyond Earth?' And 'What is the meaning of the SPAM brand name?' Unfortunately, we can provide answers to neither.

"The significance of the SPAM brand name has long been a subject of speculation. One popular belief says it's derived from the words 'spiced ham.' The real answer is known by only a small circle of former Hormel Foods executives. And probably Nostradamus."

Having heard SPAM's possible explanation before, one user said: "It's a portmanteau, not an acronym, isn't it? SPiced hAM." Another user added: "Spiced ham. Originally that’s what it’s called but people came up with dumb names for it: 'specially preserved army meat' and 'American meat'.

Paige Freshwater

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