Do these toys have a common widely-accepted name?

Inflatable play structure

  • Brinca-Brinca is the term we use in more hispanically oriented english speaking regions of the US. – Paul Nov 6 '15 at 15:49

In the UK they are often called 'Bouncy Castles', however when they don't bear any resemblance to a castle they are sometimes called, merely, 'Inflatables'

Inflatable - noun

1 - any of various large air-filled objects made of strong plastic or rubber, used for children to play on at fairs, carnivals, etc.


  • 1
    A "bouncy castle" is a special type of inflatable that is enclosed and its only real purpose is to allow people (kids) to jump up and down. (And yes, they often look like small inflated multicolor castles). The pictured inflatable is sort of a bouncy obstacle course. – T.E.D. Nov 5 '15 at 16:52
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    At least where I'm from (Southern US) I've heard people call all these things 'bouncy castles' even when they look like something else. But don't mind us: we also call all sodas 'Coke'. – Two-Bit Alchemist Nov 5 '15 at 18:55
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    Anything like this ('castle' or not) I know, and have often heard described, as 'bouncy castle'. – Dan Nov 5 '15 at 23:35
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    @Two-BitAlchemist the proper term is "pop" ;) – Sled Nov 6 '15 at 18:02
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    I (from the UK) would call the item in the picture a "bouncy castle", despite it not looking much like a castle. – psmears Nov 7 '15 at 16:20

Bounce house is a generic term, at least in the US. Toys R Us and Walmart use the term to broadly categorize these products.

Here are a few usage examples from around the US:

Variations like bouncy house and inflatable bounce house are also used, but less commonly than bounce house.

  • 3
    Strange that the term "Bounce House" is always associated with injuries... – Daniel Griscom Nov 5 '15 at 20:06
  • @DanielGriscom At least in the news it is. But the term is also used when the media isn't around! – Nathaniel is protesting Nov 5 '15 at 20:07
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    In Boston, we are apparently wishy-washy between "bounce house" and "bouncy house" — although personally, I've only heard "bouncy house". – mattdm Nov 6 '15 at 0:27
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    Would you expect a bounce house that is behaving normally to make the news? – Steven Littman Nov 6 '15 at 0:46

Every child I grew up with would refer to them as a moon bounce.

Per Wikipedia;

They have been marketed with such names as "Bounce House", "Bouncies","Moon Bounce", "Boingalow", "Astrojump", "Moonwalk", "Jolly Jump" and "Spacewalk". "Brinca brinca" [is] another name commonly used by Latinos

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    Out of curiosity, when and where did you grow up? – Kevin Nov 5 '15 at 21:20
  • @Kevin in the Northeastern United States, in the 80's/90's – n00b Nov 6 '15 at 16:58
  • I've never heard it as anything else as well, grew up in the Northwestern US in the 90's, and live in the Northeastern US now. – cartographer Nov 7 '15 at 0:22

Worked for about five years at accompany that rented these out in the USA, and they were called jumping castles (when they resembled castles, and were for jumping in) and inflatables the rest of the time. This includes slides, Velcro walls, or obstacle courses as your picture indicates. The company has them listed generally as 'inflatables' on their site.

All About Parties

Note that jumping castles or bouncy houses are simply a more specific for of inflatable. The following photos are all from their website.

Jumping Castle

Jumping Castle, Bouncy House, or simply Bounce

45 foot obstacle course

45 foot obstacle course Inflatable

27 foot dual-lane Inflatable slide

27 foot dual-lane Inflatable slide

I would add that there may also be regional differences. My experience was all in the southwestern USA.


In Australia they're known as 'Jumping Castles'.

  • Welcome to EL&U.This post would be improved by providing additional support for the use of this term: perhaps a dictionary definition or examples in the wild. I encourage you take the site tour and review the help center for additional guidance. – Nathaniel is protesting Nov 6 '15 at 13:55

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