Carousel vs Merry-Go-Round

Whats the difference between the two? I know that in Britain their “roundabouts” go in the opposite direction of American merry-go-rounds but what sets a merry-go-round apart from a carousel?


PS Have a nice day.

I don’t think there’s a diff. My mom told me I had trouble saying carousel when I was a wee lad, so she told me to say merry-go-round.

According to my Webster’s, “carousel” dates back to 1650, whereas “merry-go-round” only dates back to 1729. OTOH, “merry-go-round” refers almost exclusively to the amusement park ride, and “carousel” originally refered to an equestrian exhibition in which horsemen would execute a series of motions.

People I know always refered to large permenent one’s as carousel, such as at a theme park. Merry go round was used for portable or small ones, such as the fair or in front of a department store. We used merry go round to refer to those playground rides were everone sits on long benchs in a circle, grabs the handle bar, and a kid pushes it around until kids start flinging off.

British roundabouts are required by law to revolve in the opposite direction from American merry-go-rounds. This creates problems when an Americam merry-go-round actually reverses direction and throws BAPO (British Amusement Park Operators) into yet another emergency meeting. BAPO does not have a chapter in the southern hemisphere, for obvious reasons.

According to my American Heritage Dictionary, the definition for a carousel is “a merry-go-round.” I’m guess they’re just different names for the same thing.

I was under the impression that a “roundabout” in Britain was a traffic circle.

All Hail Unca Cecil, or the next best thing available!

I have a friend who is a carousel/merry-go-round enthusiast and she always told me that merry-go-round is the British term and that a proper British merry-go-round goes one directions while the American carousel goes the other. But which goes clockwise and which goes counter-clockwise I don’t remember.

I trust her implicitly, even if I can’t remember exactly what she said.

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy

If memory serves, the American variety almost always goes clock-wise (if you are looking at it from above) . This would seem to negate any comparisons to roundabouts and traffic circles, since an English roundabout also goes clock-wise. An American traffic circle, of course, goes counter-clock-wise.

The cosmic balance of the World will be maintained if English merry-go-rounds, indeed go counter-clock-wise.

Aon Dia.
Aon Tir.
Aon Ite.