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Senior Member
Russian, Spanish
What is the meaning of this compound word? Thanks:

"The usual: ranch-style, eat-o-mat, drive-in,
Headlight, tail-light, floodlight, neon,
And air-pollution—

Except the last, tolerable? Yes"

(from Kingsley Amis's "South").
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    O-mat, O-matic are suffixes added to words to mean that they are automated or, at least, made very easy to use. e.g. Laundromat, laundr-o-mat for a public laundry. So this could mean an self-service eatery.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    With "eat," the author might, in particular, want to suggest automat. (Wikipedia link)
    An automat is a fast food restaurant where simple foods and drink are served by coin-operated and bill-operated vending machines.
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