I would say that the names of Pilates exercises and equipment are not really known for their poetry. Joe Pilates was German after all, so there's really a no nonsense approach to much of Pilates. My favorite factoid was that he referred to his work as Contrology. You know, like the study of control.
The first piece of equipment Pilates designed was the Reformer and it is my favorite piece to workout on because it is so dang versatile. You can work out every muscle of your body with this one machine.
Many different companies make Reformers, but my favorite is by Balanced Body - the wood frame makes it look almost homey. If you have enough room in your place to house this machine that is the size of a single bed, than you can hopefully afford the cost. It retails at $3195.
Basically, the carriage moves against spring resistance - there are five springs with different tensions creating an infinite amount of possible weights to work with.
For Footwork, the most basic exercise on the Reformer, you lie with your back on the carriage, put your feet on the foot bar and just push yourself out and control yourself back in.
You can put your feet in the loops (at the end of the ropes) to work your legs. Or attach handles to the ends of the ropes to work your arms. Standing on the machine and moving the carriage really challenges your sense of balance and your core. Ahhh...so many variations, so little time.
To see some of my favorite moves you can do on the Reformer
You should take a private Pilates session to experience the joy that is the Reformer. Some Pilates studios and gyms offer group classes on the Reformer, which is an economical way to spend some time on the machine.