You really can't blame the kids, they're still in their formative years.

Teachers on the other hand have known better this whole time.

I should have specified it was a North Dakotan (ND), mainly me, goosing Minnesota for their inexplicable playing of this universal classic grade school game. I once married a woman from Minnesota and we made it through a number of years before this glaring tradition came to life.  We were discussing favorite elementary games and I brought up a personal favorite "Duck, Duck, Goose"...

This Minnesota girl mean "Duck, Duck. Gray Duck"

The silliest thing I ever heard in my life.

She's obviously being goofy. Nope, she insisted it was in fact "Duck, Duck, Gray Duck".  The internet is here to back her up.  But, it seems Minnesota is the only state in the contiguous US to recognize "gray duck" as the motivation for kids to jump up and RUN!

So says Christopher Pollard, a digital strategist, Minnesota is the only state where people use “Duck, Duck, Gray Duck.

“It’s Scandinavian in origin,” he said of the “Gray Duck” version he grew up with in Minnesota.


He later learned there a several versions of this game. But, there are two in particular that come from Sweden. One called “Anka Anka Gås,” which translates into “Duck, Duck Goose.”


Another is “Anka Anka Grå Anka,” which translates into “Duck, Duck, Gray Duck.” He believes the Swedes with that version likely made their way to Minnesota.

Can you even imagine going around a circle of your classmates, giving that little pause, patting them on the head- while exclaiming GRAY DUCK! They would have called your parents. Something ain't right with that gray duck kid.

I know there are some regionalisms. In my school dodge ball was romantically referred to as blood ball. Before the no-headshot rules, it was appropriate.

Did you ever play Smear The Queer?

It was also a pretty universal game played with a football. Here's a link for the demise of smear the queer.  I never once in my day thought it was homophobic. It was queer you had the we're gonna get ya. Seriously, I still call odd things queer. I digress.

Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Scott On Over!

How about Red Rover? You could get 50 kids in a big circle and someone would shout another kid's name and that kid would have to run across the circle attempting to bust through the hand-to-hand chain of the big circle. It was both broken wrists and choking clothes-lines.  It was maybe my favorite.

Except for tetherball, which could have also been called blood ball.

But duck, duck, gray duck? Nope.

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