O.E. tæppe "narrow strip of cloth used for tying, measuring, etc.," of uncertain origin, perhaps a back-formation from L. tapete "carpet." The original short vowel became long in M.E. The verb is from 1609; meaning "to make a tape recording" is from 1950. Tape recorder "device for recording sound on magnetic tape" first attested 1932; from earlier meaning "device for recording data on ticker tape" (1892), from tape in the sense of "paper strip of a printer" (1884). Tape-measure is attested from 1873; tape-delay is from 1968.