Marian from Schroon Lake, New York, says her family plays an egg-tapping game after every Easter egg hunt. Each player takes an egg and taps it against someone else’s, hoping that their own egg won’t crack. The egg that survives a round of competitive tapping is called the kinger. Her family, which is of German heritage, refers to this action with a term that they suspect might be spelled schtutz or stutz or schutz. This game has a long and widespread tradition throughout Europe, and their version may derive from German schutzen, which means “defend” or “protect.” In their book The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren (Bookshop|Amazon), folklorists Iona and Peter Opie described a similar knocking game played in parts of the U.K. with chestnuts. In this game, called conkers, a chestnut that has outlasted another is called a one-kinger.

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