Show Search Results Show Browse

A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 2001 (DOST Vol. X).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Tag, n. Also: tagg, taig. [ME and e.m.E. tagge (1402), tage (1553-4), tag (1570). Cf. Sw. tagg prickle, point, tooth.]

1. A hanging, torn, ragged piece of the fabric of a garment, a tatter. c1420 Wynt. v 1911.
He tuggyd wyth hys teth in taggys [C. taggis], Hys westyment rywand all in raggys
c1500 Rowll Cursing 137 (M).
Ruffy ragman with his taggis Sall ryff thair synfull saulis in raggis
c1500-c1512 Dunb. (OUP) 153/115.
Thae tarmegantis with tag and tatter Full lowd in Ersche begowth to clatter

b. transf. Tag and rag, a contemptuous term for a group held in low esteem, a rabble. 1650 Johnston Diary II 11.
Would not purgers beare al the blayme of the losse, would not the calling in and imploying tag and ragg of Ingagers be looked on as the remedy

2. A narrow or pointed ornamental addition to a garment, etc., giving the effect of a ragged edge or the like; a tassel or similar pendant ornament. Also buit tag (Bute n.2 1 b).(a) 1508 Treas. Acc. IV 64.
iiij elne of taffetj to be sleffis to the fulis cote and hude and taggis to the samyn
1579 Treas. Acc. XIII 282.
Quhite velvott to lyne his grace buittis with … fyve elnis belting silk to be taggis to his grace buittis
1580 Treas. Acc. MS 13a.
Fyftene elnis of belting silk tobe taggis
1657 Balfour Ann. II 14.
A roabe of murrey sattin … the forepairt quherof wes adorned with 48 tagges, 3 inches longe, of beattin gold, hollow within, and filled with ambergreisse
1665 Nicolson Diurnals 2 June.
For 5 quarters of searge for … sleavs & body & tags [to a suit]
1695 Household Bk. Gr. Baillie 190.
Deburst for cloathes … To Lapairl tags for crap, £1
(b) 16… Bk. Dunvegan I 196.
[Dress] … Taig … [£1 10 s.] … Teeming, engrain … [£2 6 s.]

3. A, chiefly leather, strap used as (part of) a fastening, the pointed end of a fastening which engages with a buckle; a handle or similar attachment. 1501–2 Treas. Acc. II 33.
For taggis to ane Franch sadill and mending of it xij d.
1503 Treas. Acc. II 205.
For taggis to ane rede tee
1507 Treas. Acc. III 270.
For taggis, bukkilles, and small graith to thaim [sc. three pillions]
1513 Treas. Acc. IV 436.
For ane hyd to be taggis to the kingis harnes, … for buklis to the said harnes
1536 Ayr Common Good Acc.
For ane tag to the new bell xx d.
1539 Ayr Common Good Acc.
For taggis putting to the commoun coiffir iiij d.
1561–2 Edinb. Old Acc. II 157.
To George Small, saidlar, for new taggs and for hinginge and buklinge of the curfoir bell
1575 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. *51.
For taking doun of the tung of the greit bell & mending the tag of it
1578 Glasgow B. Rec. (MC) 100.
For ane tag to the towng of the hie kirk bell
1581 Treas. Acc. MS 82a.
lij elnis poldauie canves tobe nyne horsis scheittis … cumming round about the comitare and meting with the buckillis and tagis
1599 Edinb. D. Guild Acc. 710.
Ane ledder tag to the tung of the prayer bell xxx s.
1616 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 16.
For tua tagis of ledder to the smythis belleis xii s.
1617 M. Works Acc. (ed.) II 67.
For window naillis and 6 taggis lether
1646 Edinb. Test. LXII 99a.
Aucht dussane of tags and locket rings for saidles

4. The strip of parchment to which a seal is appended. c1575 Balfour Pract. 382.
The seill appendit thairto is false and feinȝeit, because the samin is dividit and brokin … for altering of the tag quhairby the samin is hungin
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Feodvm.
The … keiper of the great seale set down his price in the fore face of everie tag, quhairvnto the said seale salbe appended

5. attrib. With tailit (Ta(i)lit adj. (1)), having the tip of the tail of a different colour from the rest of the coat. Cf. Tag(g)it adj. and later Sc. Tag n. the tip of an animal's tail. 1649 Falkirk Baron Ct. 21 May.
Ane brandit quhyte flankit tagtailit kow vnderlappit in the far lug

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Tag n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 9 Dec 2022 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse DOST: