c. 1896, trademark name (1901) of a mechanical player-piano device using perforated rolls of paper, from piano, the ending perhaps abstracted from viola and meant as a diminutive suffix. The pianola's popularity led to a rash of product names ending in -ola, especially Victrola (q.v.), and slang words such as payola. Related: Pianolist.
updated on May 30, 2020