Tag (the game) = “Touch and Go”?

I have been seeing the following post making the rounds on social media today:

tag meme

How old were you when you learned that the game TAG stands for "Touch and Go"?

I was today years old…

Now even at first glance this raised my eyebrow. So I did some quick research and nothing is said on the Wikipedia page and it would seem the game even has its own unique definition in the dictionary

A children’s game in which one chases the rest, and anyone who is caught then becomes the pursuer.

which would seem to come from the primary definition

A label attached to someone or something for the purpose of identification or to give other information.

since you yell "Tag, you’re it" as part of the game.

My question is, is there any evidence that tag is an acronym for "Touch and Go"? Is is possible this is technically another game, and not the centuries old children’s game? Or is this just another case of "Everything you read on the internet is true. – Abraham Lincoln"


It seems to me that “touch and go” is nothing more than a backronym (Wikipedia).

From the Online Etymology Dictionary entry for tag (n.2):

“children’s game,” 1738 (in reference to “Queen Mary’s reign”), perhaps a variation of Scottish tig “touch, tap” (1721), probably an alteration of Middle English tek “touch, tap” (see tick (n.2)). Baseball sense is from 1912.

What raised my eyebrow more than that was I was today years old . . .

Source : Link , Question Author : Skooba , Answer Author : Jason Bassford

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