The Nose Game

My informant is eight years old from Jacksonville, Florida. She is 8 years old, and is in third grade at a small Catholic School in her area. Her father is in the Navy, who works at a Naval base nearby and her mother stays at home. She has three sisters, all of which are older than her. While her family moved around a lot, she has lived her entire life in Florida.

The Nose Game

Me: The nose game is where if you don’t want to do something…then you put your finger on your nose real fast and the last one to do it has to do whatever the thing is

Me: do what?

Informant: whatever the people don’t want to do. Mostly answering the phone or getting off the couch.

Me: where did you learn that from?

Informant: Lisa and Bri and Katherine [informant’s sisters]

Me: who do you usually play with?

Informant: I play at school a lot. For who has to clean up at recess. I’m usually the first to yell “nose game!” and point on my nose

I have also heard the version, “nose goes,” as in the person who doesn’t notice that everyone has their finger on their nose must “go” and do whatever task, usually something that no one wants to do. In my home in Minnesota, the nose game is used a lot for who has to go back outside to get something from the car when it is freezing out. It is also common for someone to just touch their nose without saying anything, and the last to notice is the loser. Sometimes this can take awhile, and it is always a little joke or point of ridicule if they didn’t notice.


Annotation: In an Episode of Scrubs, the nose game is used to decide who will help Dr. Perry Cox write a will.