Tom, What you were told was just so much nonsense, even though
backed up with printed "proof." M-G-R and carousel are completely
interchangeable terms, with no more difference in meaning than the
terms "big" and "large," which I mentioned in my last MMD posting
When I was a kid the term merry-go-round was popular. But since
the late Fred Fried made the ride fashionable and its parts highly
collectible as parlor decorations, the term carousel seems to be
used more today.
The direction of rotation does differentiate British machines from
American (and continental?) ones. British carousels rotate in a
clockwise direction. American ones turn counter-clockwise.
But rotation has nothing to do with terminology per se. In fact,
the British prefer the term roundabout or gallopers over carousel
-- and I have never heard one called a merry-go-round in England.
Old-time carny men in the U.S. say "jenny" or "jennies." C.W. Parker,
the Leavenworth, Kansas, carousel maker/pitchman/shyster, called his
What's in a name? In this case, nothing.
Matthew Caulfield (Irondequoit, N.Y)