Carousel (spelling)

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(You may want to see AWE's note on the distinction between carousal and carousel.)

Note that English and French, the original language from which English took the word, spell carousel in different ways.

  • The English spelling is carousel.
  • The French spelling doubles the '-r-': carrousel.
    • Oddly enough, the French word to translate the American use (British: 'merry-go-round') is manège.



The word carousel is essentially American, for which British English already has two alternatives, 'merry-go-round' and 'round-about'. They are nouns which denote a 'ride' or amusement in a fun-fair – an old-fashioned and rather calm one, in which horses go round and round, and possibly a little up and down as well. Versions for smaller children often replace the horses with various vehicles, or even large cups and saucers. The meaning of carousel has been extended to a number of machines that turn things round. The French use carrousel for most of these.
    • Various devices of retail selling are called carousels.
    • In airports, the luggage carousel is the name of the device on which luggage is turned round for passengers to claim their own possessions.
    • A slide projector may be fitted with a carousel - a form of magazine which allows automatic or semi-automatic changes of slide in sequence.