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View Full Version : What is the name for this type of playground "ride" ?


AHunter3
08-05-2010, 04:47 PM
They may not have them on modern playgrounds due to the safety considerations that seem to dominate all such matters nowadays, but...

ANY of several different rides basically consisting of an anchored center and something one would either hang on to or (more often) sit down on while it spins. You'd come running up to it and push, push, push it around in a circle until it had built up speed, then jump on and ride.

I just asked someone who said "merry go rounds". I don't recall us calling them "merry go rounds" and besides, when I think of "merry go rounds" I visualize much more slow-moving contraptions driven by some power source, with wooden ponies going up and down. Totally not that kind of thing. Damned if I can recall what we did call them though.

Still, that does seem to be how they are listed (http://willygoat.com/catalogmultiple.asp?name=merry_go_rounds&site=1) in some online catalogs of playground equipment.

Did y'all have any other name for that kind of thing?

ThirdOne
08-05-2010, 04:57 PM
Yes, we called it a merry go round. The one with horses called a carousel, but we may have called it a merry go round. Of course, now I think about it, I'm not sure if we called a carousel a merry go round.

I don't of any other names.

I know, real helpful :smack:

Mr. Accident
08-05-2010, 05:00 PM
Merry go arounds is what we still call them. Our local state park has one, and that's what the park rangers call it too.

Zsofia
08-05-2010, 05:00 PM
We called it a merry go round - we also called the thing at the fair with the horses a merry go round.

I suppose you could also nostalgically call it the Vominator.

Flutterby
08-05-2010, 05:00 PM
Always called it a 'merry go round' but the ones designed like an upside down cone that you can climb as it spins (and IME are much harder to get up to any serious speed) are witches hats.

multimediac17
08-05-2010, 05:13 PM
I call it a "roundabout".

Eliahna
08-05-2010, 05:20 PM
Merry-go-round or roundabout.

Zeldar
08-05-2010, 05:22 PM
I never heard anything but merry go round.

Oddly enough, I got an e-mail video of a couple of grown-ups or at least oldish teens sitting in one (it had walls but looked like your basic MGR) and some asshole had arranged a motorbike in such a way that his back wheel was against the side of the MGR and he revved up the bike to drive the MGR to a speed that was enough to throw one of the riders out on the ground.

If you haven't seen the video I bet it's on YouTube. Funny as those things go. May be German in origin.

Joey P
08-05-2010, 05:29 PM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=vLiwqmJY314

http://youtube.com/watch?v=UMY3c96xpDs&feature=related

and now with a bicycle
http://youtube.com/watch?v=bqkF8VTCxaU&feature=related

Mr. Accident
08-05-2010, 05:35 PM
Always called it a 'merry go round' but the ones designed like an upside down cone that you can climb as it spins (and IME are much harder to get up to any serious speed) are witches hats.

I forgot about the witches hats. I hated those things. The only way we could keep those things spinning was to have 2 kids holding on and running the entire time.

Harmonious Discord
08-05-2010, 05:50 PM
Here is another merry go round vote. That's all we ever called them.

Ignatz
08-05-2010, 06:40 PM
Big Spinner as well as Merry-Go-Round

http://1000awesomethings.com/2008/07/18/980-playground-equipment/

Flutterby
08-05-2010, 06:52 PM
Always called it a 'merry go round' but the ones designed like an upside down cone that you can climb as it spins (and IME are much harder to get up to any serious speed) are witches hats.

I forgot about the witches hats. I hated those things. The only way we could keep those things spinning was to have 2 kids holding on and running the entire time.

Those ones are the only ones I see in parks anymore, and speed is probably the reason. I can remember getting a doozy of a scrape and practically flying off a merry go round when I put my feet down. A witch hat never got fast enough for that.

Pai325
08-05-2010, 09:59 PM
We called them both merry-go-rounds.

Uncle Brother Walker
08-05-2010, 10:48 PM
Most kids I knew called it "The Spinner".

But I called it the Vomit Comet. Seems like every time I got on one, my sister and her friends made me stay on it and spun and spun and spun until either I was flung off at a high rate of speed or vomited.


...but don't think that I didn't try to aim at my sister. I did.

In Winnipeg
08-05-2010, 11:36 PM
Merry-go-round.

Fairground carousels (with the horses) were called the same thing where I grew up.

Gawd, those things were fun. It's too bad they don't come in adult sizes.

CanvasShoes
08-05-2010, 11:39 PM
Merry go round.

Rhiannon8404
08-06-2010, 09:34 AM
Merry-go-round

Or as Bill Cosby so perfectly put it, "...it's a thing where you go round in a circle for 5 minutes and then puke."

I loved the merry-go-round at school.

Swallowed My Cellphone
08-06-2010, 09:40 AM
I've only ever heard it called "roundabout".

Mama Zappa
08-06-2010, 10:05 AM
Merry go round here, too.

Anyone have a link to a photo of the "witches' hat" things? That doesn't sound familiar.

WOOKINPANUB
08-06-2010, 10:14 AM
I don't remember what we called them, but pretty sure it wasn't "merry go round". This is going to bug me. I also don't remember anyone getting sick from it :confused:

AHunter3
08-06-2010, 10:23 AM
We had two versions in the park I played at as a kid (then later as a young teenager with much faster notions of spin control):

a) Wooden flat seats to sit on, metal tubular piping making the main body of the thing. (I'm talking pipes the size and gauge of steam heat risers in city apartments). As older kids we'd have some of us outside continuing to shove it to ludicrously high speed while folks riding it would climb INWARD against the centrifugal force hand over hand on the pipes, through the center (whee!) and out the other side to the bench 180 away from where they started.

b) Looked more like an egg (from mid-egg up to point) than the things y'all call a witch's hat, I think? Shallow scooped-out body-shaped hollows all around the outside of the "egg". You stood up in that space and held on for dear life to handles that were approximately at armpit level. The scooped-out area terminated at the bottom in a shallow rubber place you could put your feet. There was no way to climb up unless it was motionless, nothing to hold onto. That thing could freaking SPIN. As crazy teenagers we'd get it flying then try to move from one slot to the next, oozing out around the protruding handle and reaching WAYYY Y over there for the next handle over while trying to avoid being slung off. Or, more safely, would stand in the normal place but face OUTWARD and see the world go by at a nauseatingly rapid blur.

purplehorseshoe
08-06-2010, 10:24 AM
Never heard of a "roundabout." Is that a regional thing? Britishism? Not familiar with this witch's hat contraption, either.

The anchored thing that spins from the OP was most definitely a merry-go-round. The thing with horses that go up and down at the fairground is usually a carousel, but could also be a merry-go-round. Which brings us to...

<Marge Simpson at an old carousel from her childhood>
This used to be my favorite horse. I called it Funny Goodfeeling.
</Marge Simpson>

Heart of Dorkness
08-06-2010, 10:29 AM
Yep, it's a merry-go-round (http://google.com/images?hl=en&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=merry+go+round+playground&aq=1&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=merry+go+round+play&gs_rfai=).

And here are witch's hats (http://google.com/images?hl=en&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=witch+hat+playground&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=), apparently. I've never seen one before. Those who had them: where and when was this?

Mr. Accident
08-06-2010, 10:35 AM
Yep, it's a merry-go-round (http://google.com/images?hl=en&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=merry+go+round+playground&aq=1&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=merry+go+round+play&gs_rfai=).

And here are witch's hats (http://google.com/images?hl=en&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=witch+hat+playground&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=), apparently. I've never seen one before. Those who had them: where and when was this?
Later 80s, early 90s, Winder GA.

I was at the park it was in earlier this year, and the witch's hat had been removed. The merry go round was still there though, and still in good condition.

jsgoddess
08-06-2010, 11:03 AM
We had both a merry-go-round and a witch's hat on the playground when I was a kid. The witch's hat let you hang from your hands, and it would swing all the way in so you would crush your fingers against the pole. Good times.

Flutterby
08-06-2010, 11:04 AM
And here are witch's hats (http://google.com/images?hl=en&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=witch+hat+playground&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=), apparently. I've never seen one before. Those who had them: where and when was this?

Edmonton in the mid to late 80s and most currently my son's school installed one a couple years ago.

Serenata67
08-06-2010, 02:54 PM
I'm odd, but in my family, we called them "spinners" or when I was really young, "spin-me!" If someone said "I was riding the merry-go-round at the park..." I'd think of horses and calliope music.

purplehorseshoe
08-06-2010, 03:46 PM
I never heard anything but merry go round.

Oddly enough, I got an e-mail video of a couple of grown-ups or at least oldish teens sitting in one (it had walls but looked like your basic MGR) and some asshole had arranged a motorbike in such a way that his back wheel was against the side of the MGR and he revved up the bike to drive the MGR to a speed that was enough to throw one of the riders out on the ground.

If you haven't seen the video I bet it's on YouTube. Funny as those things go. May be German in origin.

Heh. This was just featured on the most recent episode of Tosh.0 (Comedy Central) as the show's opening video. I watched it (DVR) over my lunch break and was all, "OMG! I just saw a thread about this!!"

Slithy Tove
08-06-2010, 04:02 PM
this thing. (http://governmentauctions.org/uploaded_images/merry-723040.JPG) We didn't call it anything. Just ran up to it and went at it.

One kid would stand and spin it, while the rest of us would stand at its rim, bowing from our waist, being kept on our feet by centrifigal force.

There were those hobby horses mounted on tractor springs. Boring to ride. You stood off them and pulled them back as far as possible and let go, making the saddled caterpilar or whatever it was jerk as spasmodically as possible, without getting hit.

The worst was a thing that looked like a short garden gate that swung around a post, with a hand bar across the top and a footboard along the bottom. The winner wasn't the one who could hang on, just the one who was thrown the farthest.

(as a child I believed there was an actual medical condition called "just had the wind knocked out of him." No real internal damage; just that everyone carries a reserve breath of air inside them, and mine had been pushed out when I fell eight feet off the monkey bars and landed flat on my back)

Come home with head trauma and be more docile, easier to control. That was the point, right?

AHunter3
08-07-2010, 10:19 AM
Here's (http://bellowsfalls.info/7_merry.jpg) the main type I remember: wooden seats around the outside. We would get it going really fast then climb towards the center, holding onto those metal poles, then back out the opposite side. Another similar model (http://southturtlelakeresort.com/gallery/merrygoround.jpg)

Aha, the other model was called a "UFO" (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_REjQQ5OAUrM/TCegWfKxZfI/AAAAAAAAElo/bfJgqECHGTQ/s400/vintage+playground+merry+go+round1.jpg)!

california jobcase
08-07-2010, 09:19 PM
Merry-go-rounds were fun, but the best fun and danger required a maypole- the kind with chains hanging from a swivel at the top of a pole. Grab a chain's handle and run around the pole until you flew outward-

Kiwi Fruit
08-08-2010, 08:58 PM
I always called them a merry go round, but an alternative British term is roundabout, especially magic ones! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magic_Roundabout)

Hilarity N. Suze
08-08-2010, 09:28 PM
Huh, that thing called a witch's hat looks like what in my childhood, and on one particular playground, we called an Ocean Wave.

Planks to stand on, pipes going up to a central column in the middle. It didn't just go around, it swayed back and forth. It was no fun unless there were a LOT of kids on it, and the fun thing was to step off into the center--where there was an old tire to absorb the shock, and it was a lot of shock--and then up onto the other side. It required some skill, and if you missed, the thing would come down on you.

The tire sat on the ground and on one side the ocean wave, when it came down, would skid over the top of the tire and then kind of lodge there. That's how low it went (and why nobody sat on the planks).

At some point it existed but had been modified so it no longer swayed, but just went around, none too fast. It still had the tire in the center, and kids still jumped from one side to another, but without the sway it was a whole different challenge.

Another one they immobilized was a thing that had trapeze bars attached to chains. Three bars, so if you grabbed the top one, the middle one was banging on your chin and the bottom one on your chest. You grabbed your preferred bar and ran around until your momentum lifted you off the ground.

It happened every year: Mean boys from the upper grades would come upon it when little kids were flying around, and they'd grab hold of the bars and run around, and the little kids would fly out, shrieking, unable to touch their feet to the ground and afraid to let go. Lots of fun to watch. Not so fun if you were on there hanging on for dear life and getting blisters on your hands.

After immobilization, it was just like a round thing and you could swing from bar to bar. Not so much fun.

Then they got rid of the whole lot and replaced it with plastic stuff.

On preview: I don't think that's what we called it, but it sounds like a Maypole.

BigT
08-08-2010, 10:16 PM
I remember figuring out how to spin them without getting off. That's the only way I would ride them.

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