I was looking at another StackExchange site and saw this phrase:

Although it was ultimately accepted, the reviewers who accepted it look more like robo-reviewers than those who rejected it.

When I tried to search on a search-engine for the meaning it almost always referenced to a Spanish term that apparently means to steal / or to be stolen from. (depending on the pronunciation).

But I cannot see this meaning to be related at all with this phrase that I posted.

Source of the post: https://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/254122/is-this-edit-correct-or-does-it-change-too-much-of-the-question?cb=1

  • 1
    You would have done much better to search for "robo-reviewer" and "roboreviewer" on the site where you saw the post. The term is in common use on meta (spelled both ways) and it is one of many meta-specific slang/jargon phrases. Knowing what "gimme teh codez" means in a dictionary won't help you know what it means on meta. May 9, 2014 at 16:04
  • @ RegDwigнt♦, the link you posted doesn't really explain why it's related as @outis nihil did.
    – Mansueli
    May 9, 2014 at 16:06
  • There's an argument to be made that this should be in ELL or some other site, though, or that (as it is tagged) it can be answered with commonly-available references. @RegDwigнt has a much higher reputation than I do; he's more familiar with the way things are done here than I am. May 9, 2014 at 19:47
  • @Kyllopardiun: why it's related to what? That it's related to robot is explained there alright. (Though it's pretty transparent, what with robocops and robodogs and robofish and all.)
    – RegDwigнt
    May 9, 2014 at 22:00

2 Answers 2


It is derived from robot, meaning an automaton, which itself derives from the play R. U. R. In this case, robo means automated, and conveys a tone of disapproval.


Etymology robot from Czech, from robota ‘forced labour’. The term was coined in K. Čapek's play R.U.R. ‘Rossum's Universal Robots’ (1920).

Same link: a person who behaves in a mechanical or unemotional manner.

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    Etymology: Russian работа /rabóta/, from Proto-Slavic root *orbota 'hard work, slavery', derived from P-S *orbь 'slave'. Cognate with German Arbeit. May 9, 2014 at 15:54
  • But today, робота and its cognates no longer have any connotation of slavery -- they're just the ordinary word for "work".
    – MMacD
    Jan 25, 2017 at 9:34

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