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Pram, Buggy or Push Chair

Updated on May 9, 2011

I thought PRAM was the only name for PUSHABLE VEHICLE which provides a means of transportation for children. And I didn't know there is a long word "perambulator" for "pram" until I read J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Peter Pan lived with the lost boys and he was the captain of lost children, he said:

"They are the children who fall out of their perambulators when the nurse is lookng the other way. If they are not claimed in seven days they are sent far away to the Neverland to defray expenses. I am captain."

Wendy thought that was fun, Peter Pan agreed, but he said that they felt lonely sometimes, because they had no female companionship. Girls were "much too clever to fall out of their prams."

In this book, J. M. Barrie used both "perambulator" and "prams", alternatively.

One day, a boy mistook my daughter's "pram" as his "buggy" and tried to sit inside, when he realised the mistake, he commented:

"This buggy is same as ours!"

I also heard of people mentioning my "pram" as "push chair".

Then I started to use these name alternatively, and wondered if there was any difference among these names. Then I found out that I used these name mistakenly.


A "perambulator" or "pram" is generally used for newborn babies and have the infant lying down facing the pusher, sometimes also called "carrycot", in North American English it is called "baby carriage".

While a "buggy" has the child in a sitting position, usually facing forwards, instead of facing the pusher, "push chair" has been previously used as well but less currently. In North American English this is called "stroller".

Perambulator was also a measuring tool for early surveying work. The perambulator was used to measure distances. It was a device that had a wheel that was pushed along a linear path while the number of revolutions of the wheel was counted either manually or by an odometer attached to the frame. Depending on the radius of the wheel, distance could then be determined by calculating circumference times the number of revolutions. Trundle wheels, which work in the same manner, usually measure a standard one meter per revolution.

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    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      9 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      It is a shame that prams are being superceded by buggies. The feeling of pushing your new born in a beautiful pram was wonderful. Short lived but wonderful. Thanks for renewing the memories.

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