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Pram
Posted: 09 December 2012 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]
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In an old What’s My Line one of the contestants was a British chap who, as the caption informed us, “sells baby carriages”. (He was one of the Lines brothers whose firm was also famous in the UK for the Triang/Meccano brand of toys.) During the course of the round the implication from John Daly seemed to be that pram was not a term generally used in the States. Is this so? Is baby carriage then the word of choice? And what of that other mode of infant transport, the pushchair?

BTW, speaking of Triang, the Meccano construction sets held no charm at all for me as a boy. Triang’s other acquisition though, the Hornby company, ah there was the stuff of dreams! An electric railway set, the ne plus ultra of toys, and the one alas as far out of my reach as it was of the reach of my father’s wallet. So I never did get to be the Controller, Fat or otherwise, of my own railway company.

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Posted: 09 December 2012 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Both pram and push chair are essentially unknown in the U.S. It’s baby carriage and stroller, respectively.

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Posted: 09 December 2012 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Pram and stroller are the words used in Australia.

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Posted: 09 December 2012 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I know nothing about babies or strollers or carriages but when I read the word ‘’pram’’ in the subject line I knew what it was most likely about. I’ve no clue as to why the word was familiar to me.

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Posted: 09 December 2012 05:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I think a lot of Americans know pram is what the English call a baby carriage but not many (including me) know about push chair.

FWIW, a few who have bought Thomas the Tank Engine books because their children enjoyed the cartoons know the Fat Controller (later the Fat Director in the books) was rechristened Sir Topham Hat for American audiences.  The name Meccano may be a little more familiar but I think only a tiny handful of avid American collectors of British toys such as Lesney Matchbox have ever heard of Triang.

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Posted: 09 December 2012 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I know what pram means, but I have never heard it used in Leftpondia, at least as far as I can recall.

The term push-chair was a new one to me.

It led me to wonder if “wheel-chair” (as in chair designed to afford mobility for ambulatory-disabled persons) might be limited to Leftpondia.

Is it?

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Posted: 09 December 2012 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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sobiest - 09 December 2012 06:24 PM

I know what pram means, but I have never heard it used in Leftpondia, at least as far as I can recall.

The term push-chair was a new one to me.

It led me to wonder if “wheel-chair” (as in chair designed to afford mobility for ambulatory-disabled persons) might be limited to Leftpondia.

Is it?

No, precisely the same term with the same sense in Rightpondia (usually unhyphenated though).

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Posted: 09 December 2012 09:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Some relevant info on perambulators:

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=p&p=51&allowed_in_frame=0

pram (n.) Look up pram at Dictionary.com
“baby carriage,” 1884, shortening of perambulator, perhaps influenced by pram “flat-bottomed boat” (1540s),
from O.N. pramr, from Balto-Slavic (cf. Pol. prom, Rus. poromu “ferryboat").

And some history:

http://www.webperambulatormuseum.com/index_files/Page321.htm

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Posted: 09 December 2012 11:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Nice pram museum site, skibs, although I’m disappointed they left out the penny-farthing pram. That 1927 job must have felt to the poor infant as if they’d been chucked down a well. At least if they were budding astronomers they could see the stars in daylight from the inky depths of their mobile home.

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Posted: 10 December 2012 07:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Not to be the anti-joke chicken, but you know that the notion one can see the stars in daytime from the bottom of a well or some other deep, dark vertical excavation is false, right?

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Posted: 10 December 2012 08:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thanks for the correction, doc, I did wonder. I obviously mythed my guess. The name Eratosthenes was rattling about in my head in connection with a well. Now I see that was to do with calculating the circumference of the Earth.

[ Edited: 10 December 2012 09:06 AM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 10 December 2012 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Well, there is one star you can see during the day…

Seriously, there are a handful of the brightest stars (i.e., Sirius, Canopus, Arcturus, plus Venus and Jupiter) that might be visible from the bottom of a well during daylight. But they’d have to be directly overhead, and that’s pretty unlikely at most latitudes or at any given moment.

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Posted: 10 December 2012 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Also, being at the bottom of a well (or similar vertical tube) doesn’t actually improve their visibility.  Those are stars (and planets) that might be just barely visible in the daytime sky (for Venus, under best conditions, more than just barely) if you know just where to look.

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Posted: 11 December 2012 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I remember the former UK Labour Party leader getting in a bit of trouble for saying of a meeting with the American George Shultz, “Schultz got out of his pram”. I think the US equivalent is “spat the dummy” though don’t you say pacifier? Angry. Hissy fit. Both baby behaviour metaphors appropriate to politicians!

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Posted: 11 December 2012 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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"I think the US equivalent is “spat the dummy” though don’t you say pacifier?”

I’ve never heard either version of the expression in the US as a metaphor for being angry.  If I heard someone say that some adult “spat out his pacifier” I would recognize it as a way of saying that the person was acting in an infantile manner, but I don’t recognize it as a stock expression.

“Spat the dummy” would just be mystifying.  It conjures up the image of a ventriloquist and his prop being devoured by a large carnivore that then rejected the prop.

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Posted: 11 December 2012 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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In my experience ‘X threw his toys out of his pram’ is more usual over here than ‘he got out of his pram’.

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