Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
"small hanging piece from a garment," c.1400, perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian tagg "point, prong, barb," Swedish tagg "prickle, thorn," Middle Low German tagge "branch, twig, spike"); cognate with tack (n.1). Meaning "label" is first recorded 1835; sense of "automobile license plate" is recorded from 1935, originally underworld slang. Meaning "an epithet, popular designation" is recorded from 1961, hence slang verb meaning "to write graffiti in public places" (1990).
"children's game," 1738, perhaps a variation of Scot. tig "touch, tap" (1721), probably an alteration of Middle English tek "touch, tap" (see tick (2)).
"to furnish with a tag," mid-15c., from tag (n.1). Related: Tagged; tagging. To tag along is first recorded 1900.
in the baseball sense, 1907, from tag (n.2); the adjective in the pro-wrestling sense is recorded from 1955.
A strip of leather, paper, metal, or plastic attached to something or hung from a wearer's neck to identify, classify, or label.
A small outgrowth or polyp.
To label, identify, or recognize with or as if with a tag.
To incorporate into a compound a readily detected substance making the compound detectable so that its metabolic or chemical history may be followed.
[final sense fr the fact that many such graffiti are the names, or tags, of the painter]
children's game in which, in its simplest form, the player who is "it" chases the other players, trying to touch one of them, thereby making that person "it." The game is known by many names, such as leapsa in Romania and kynigito in parts of modern Greece. In some variants the children pretend that the touch carries some form of contagion-e.g., plague (Italy), leprosy (Madagascar), fleas (Spain), or "lurgy fever" (Great Britain). In others, a method of achieving immunity from touch is prescribed, as by touching wood, iron, or a specified colour or assuming a particular position (e.g., squatting). Often limitations or handicaps are imposed on the chaser: the child may be required to clasp hands and imitate a horned animal (stag, bull, or goat) or squat and hop like a frog while the others caper freely around him. In some games the chaser throws a ball at the intended victim. As a game progresses, the original chaser may enlist those touched to help catch the others; sometimes the captives link hands to form a chain, with the players on either end making the capture