Maybe I made up a phrase:

'because of the novelty of it'

Surely not, but searching online returns no results, zero.

I wonder, could a retro and/or abundant food such as Spam be considered a novelty or have any sense of novelty to it?

Examples of usage:

Q: Why are y'all taking selfies with Spam? In the Walmart, on vacation?
A: Because of the novelty of it. There's a whole lotta Spam here!

Q: Did you eat Spam there?
A: No, but we have it once in a while, with mac-n-cheese, because of the novelty of it.

They understood what I meant, but after researching it, that sort of usage seems incorrect. Is it?

Still, I think novelty should have a definition that conveys some kind of sentiment (like nostalgia but pleasant, in a quirky way). No one is actually playing the mini Parcheesi game, you know; it's just a 'good memory' aid.


novelty [M-W, 4 of 4]

something (such as a song or food item) that provides often fleeting amusement and is often based on a theme → often used attributively


Novelty Foods From the Past 20 Years [Mentalfloss.com]

Hawaiian SPAMBURGER™ Hamburger [spam.com]

SPAM snow globe …in some places more than others.

  • 3
    Novelty combines 'unusual' with 'new'. For me it jars to use novelty for something that is retro, even though it may be, now, unusual.
    – Dan
    Commented Feb 17, 2023 at 11:36
  • Google Books: google.com/…
    – Greybeard
    Commented Feb 17, 2023 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


It may not agree with the dictionary definition for "novelty," but many English speakers seem to use it synonymously in the expression "novelty of it" with "variety." This may be because "variety of it" tends to mean something else, such as a different breed, make, or model of something. It may be a matter of regional usage, but I have often heard "novelty of it" used to refer to something that is unusual in the sense of not being part of the (boring by contrast) ordinary routine.

In other words, "novelty" is not limited, in actual usage, to a one-time event. And the dictionary agrees, saying it means: "the quality of being new, original, or unusual" (emphasis added).

If your "usual" is to eat other things, eating Spam might be a legitimate "novelty."

If the Spam is especially unusual, or is not typically associated with foods eaten locally, one might call it an "exotic" food. This would indicate, to my mind at least, that the Spam were even more unusual as a food choice than if it had been called a "novelty."

  • 1
    Novelty can mean newness to me, for example if I have never tried Spam before.
    – Peter
    Commented Feb 18, 2023 at 13:35

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