upsy-daisy machine

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Senior Member
Hi! In T.Pratchett's "Snuff" there's a line: "They rounded off the day with a visit to the funfair, where Vimes gave the man a dollar for the ride on the upsy-daisy machine..."
I have no idea what the upsy-daisy machine could be, but I guess it's some amusement ride likely to cause people to throw up. Is it a made-up word or something real?
Thank you!
  • rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    It may be a word which Pratchett invented. I've never heard of it. But then, I don't go to funfairs. I assume it's a contraption which turns upside down. 'Upsy-daisy' or 'ups-a-daisy' - if you know how to spell it, you know more than I do - is a jocular phrase which is used when someone falls over, for example. If you slip on the mat, I might say 'ups-a-daisy'. It's often, if not usually, used by adults to children, so don't go using it when someone does something serious like falling off a ladder and breaking his neck.


    Senior Member
    I suspect it is, or at one time was, a proprietary name for a carnival ride. The name appears capitalized on page 61 of Isn't It Romantic?: An Entertainment by Ron Hansen (passage available in preview form at Google Books):

    Meanwhile Natalie threw the switch that electified the carnival's lighting ... and she delivered queenly waves to the shrieking children on rides that were called the Zipper, the Tilt-a-Whirl, the Upsy-Daisy, the Scared Rabbit.
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