Gray Duck? Are you kidding?

Crude representation of how Duck Duck Goose is...

Crude representation of how Duck Duck Goose is played. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Duck, Duck, Goose  is a traditional children’s game called different things around the world.

In Minnesota, it is called ‘Duck, Duck, Gray Duck’. The object of this game is to walk in a circle, tapping on each child’s head until you finally choose one to be the new picker (Gray Duck!!). Then, that person is suppose to chase you down and tag you before you get back to sit in their spot.

Duck Duck Gray Duck is decidedly “Minnesotan,” so I  figured it would be a good enough name for a site born out of my hometown.

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19 responses to “Gray Duck? Are you kidding?

  1. It’s, “duck, duck, grey duck. That is all.

  2. Yeah, I have so been there. I remember the first time I tried to get some non-Minnesotan kids to play duck, duck, goose. After traveling around the country a lot and noticing that duck duck goose seemed to be the entrenched standard everywhere else, I started to wonder if there was some kind of evil conspiracy going on. Found this site today and realized that it really is MN vs. everybody else!

  3. Stephen Smith

    I was in elementary school during in the 50s in the Minneapolis suburbs and it was “gray duck” then too, as you would expect.

    Looking back and saying ti to myself a few times, I think “duck, duck, gray duck” has a nice, lilting, syncopated rhythm, unlike just mechanically belting out “duck, duck, goose”. Seriously.

    Obviously we had some playful folk innovation going on in progressive Minnesota that took a tradition from elsewhere and improved on it….Why it didn’t spread to the rest of the country is a mystery, but probably has to do with immigration patterns, and tone-deaf cultural conservatism elsewhere that rejected this melodically superior variation.

  4. Nicholas Nelson

    SOoo True!
    I moved to Minnesota for the beginning of my high school years and had lived in 4 other Midwest states. I volunteered at a bible day camp and had the most confused looks from children when I told them lets play duck duck goose. Duck duck grey duck? What!? I seriously thought the kids were joking.

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