A sample application in the book 'Test Drive ASP.NET MVC' used this as its title.

  • I edited your question to hopefully be more understandable. If I messed up and actually changed your meaning, please feel free to revert. – Marthaª Dec 11 '10 at 7:20
  • I don't understand why OP says it was used as a title for that book. But Quote-O-Matic is the label of one of half-a-dozen hotspots here on stupidstuff.com, where it's a web-based app that spits out random amusing "quotes". Maybe OP's book contains lots of such lighthearted but potentially quotable lines. – FumbleFingers Sep 8 '11 at 19:06
  • @FumbleFingers - I think he means the name of a program. It makes perfect sense to me (see below), but is probably a bit of an Americanisim. – T.E.D. Sep 8 '11 at 20:05
  • @T.E.D.: I think by most people's definitions, a "web-based app" is a program anyway. It's true I did misread OP's sentence and thought it was the title of a book, rather than a sample app therein. But obviously the app in the book is likely to be functionally similar to the online one. Quite possibly modelled on it, though I'd expect the online one to have a bigger database of quotes, given the one in the book is only intended to show how you code such things using MVC. Using "-O-Matic" as a neologism generator may be American, but it's transparent/well-known to Brits (if a bit "dated"). – FumbleFingers Sep 8 '11 at 20:59

Without seeing any context it's difficult to say, but it probably means some kind of program that automatically spews out quotes.

Copywriters often coin new words by taking the last part of "automatic" (the "-omatic" part) and putting some other noun or start of a noun to make a word that means an automatic something-or-other.

This is usually advertising speak. The book's author is just trying to be funny by calling the app Quote-o-Matic. It's not uncommon for authors of tech books to indulge in a bit of silliness now and then.


"O-matic" is a fairly common suffix used by marketing weasels to imply that the device in question has made a particular task easy to accomplish. So using the suffix "O-Matic" is a sort of tongue-in-cheek way of saying that you have something that makes the affixed task or item easy to accomplish (and does pretty much nothing else useful).

If I saw it on an application named "Quote-O-matic", I would assume that I am dealing with a small, cheap application that does nothing but generate quotes.

So where did this come from? Well, the suffix "O-matic" was a special favorite of companies that hawked cheap single-use kitchen devices in late-night TV commercials back in the 60's and 70's (in the USA at least). Particularly one company named Ronco, whose Wikipedia entry starts thusly:

Ronco is an American company that manufactures and sells a variety of items and devices, most commonly those used in the kitchen. Ron Popeil founded the company in 1964, and commercials for the company's products soon became pervasive and memorable, in part thanks to Popeil's personal sales pitches. The names "Ronco" and "Popeil" and the suffix "-O-Matic" (used in many early product names) became icons of American popular culture and were often referred to by comedians introducing fictional gadgets.

As an interesting aside, these same Ronco commercials also are the source of the phrases (often today used either together or separately):

Now how much would you pay? ...but wait! There's more!

  • The reference, in particular, is to the Veg-O-Matic, a vegetable slicer that was advertised on US television incessantly in the mid 60s. Other "O-Matic" devices followed from time to time. – Hot Licks Sep 29 '15 at 12:36
  • @HotLicks - Its debatable that it is just down to that one device. However, that particular device was the inspiration for my favorite SNL skit of all time, the Super Bass-O-Matic '76. – T.E.D. Sep 29 '15 at 12:54
  • Yes, but only for the Veg-O-Matic did Ron say "It slices! It dices!" – Hot Licks Sep 29 '15 at 12:57
  • @HotLicks - I believe those words were also used in the Ginsu Knives commercials. – T.E.D. Sep 29 '15 at 13:13

In 1976, the TV show Saturday Night Live had a skit with a device named "Bass-O-Matic".

It is a programmers' phrase based on that video, in which a hard job is made easy with a blender (the joke being that the processing was made easy, but the results are not nearly as good if you had done it by the older process). To get the joke you have to see the clip.

See Hulu or Youtube for the clip.

  • 3
    I see no evidence that the author of the book is basing his phrase on that skit. Lot's of other "o-matic" words have been seen both before and after Saturday Night Live. – GEdgar Sep 8 '11 at 18:24
  • 1
    @GEdgar - As a matter of fact, that skit was actually a fake commercial lampooning late-night TV commercials for various silly little kitchen devices from companies like Ron-Co that did invariably seem to like to put words like "o-matic" on the end of things. – T.E.D. Sep 8 '11 at 19:40

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