S is for Stroller

The trouble with children is that you are always having to get them from A to B in one piece. And as they grow, and as you have more and more of them (in our case, we had three on our hands before number 1 had even turned 4), your need for equipment grows too.

With Child 1, we started off with one of these:

three wheelerI would call this a pushchair, even maybe a jogging pushchair, or at a stretch, a jogger. We chose it over some of the more fantastic beasts on the market at the time which I believe are known on both sides of the Atlantic as a travel system.

But by the time Child 1 was 18 months old, his little brother had come along At that point we moved to this:

double pushAnd this I would call a double buggy. I think of it as a pushchair. But I’m pretty sure I’d call it a double buggy. It always made me feel a bit like the driver of a double decker bus.

So far so good. But we were not done having children. And since they don’t do triple pushchairs (as far as I know) we added this:

buggyboardAnd that’s a buggy board.

Of course as time passes, the need for these aids to perambulation decline. The boys were able to walk further, the double buggy was abandoned (hurrah!) and we down-sized to one of these:

strollerAnd this, finally, I would call a stroller.

Ours was great. It cost twenty quid in Argos and survived many a baggage carousel in many an airport. I could hang more shopping bags on that thing than was ever safe or sensible and with Children 1&2’s hands clamped on each side and Child 3 strapped in the seat, we were unstoppable…. At least until one of them needed the toilet, or was thirsty, or started crying etc etc.

I hope I am right in thinking that all of the above (except the buggy board) would be called a stroller in the US. And I do like the term stroller. For a start it implies a lot less effort than pushchair. The original, perambulator, has a nice ring to it too, conjuring up visions of leisurely Victorian walks through parks with lakes with families of swans gliding around and nursemaids watching boys in sailor suits playing pooh sticks.


Whereas buggy…

According to the Urban Dictionary a buggy, is a collective noun for clowns. And that spelt buggie, in Pittsburg, it’s a shopping cart. Of course I’d call that a trolley. But that’s a whole other post.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mark Finney says:

    What has happened to “pram”, the shortened form of perambulator? It was the usual term when I was young enough to sit in one.

    1. I think prams (UK) or baby carriages (US) have gone out of fashion and been replaced by less bulky, more car-friendly wheeled devices for moving the little troops around. The way my granny used to tell it, all children were more or less pinned flat into their prams under a ton of blankets and parked outside for most of the day. Until they were about five. I can’t see that happening much nowadays!

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