Tagg English family name, probably of North German origin. Since it is an English name, it is pronounced exactly like the English word tag [tæg]. It is written with two Gs to distinguish it from the word tag. Though less common than Smith or Jones, Tagg is not an unusual English surname: there are tens of thousands of us.
Many English Taggs seem to hail from the southern part of Lincolnshire previously known as Holland (flat as a pancake and a lot of it under sea level).
The earliest Tagg I've found so far is Juliana, a potter from Toynton (probably Toynton All Saints, near Spilsby in central Lincolnshire).
[some day I would like to complete this part of the story!]
Tagg seems to be the most common UK variant of the North German name Tagge. Lots of Tagges live in the Hamburg area. Apart from Tagge the optician, theres Gerd Tagge, Holger Tagge (driving school), Birger Tagge (Senate of Hamburg University), Cassandra Tagge (Bergdorf Secondary School), Gilbert Tagge (volunteer firefighter), Jürgen Tagge, Carol Tagge, Dirk Tagge, etc. You can also get your engine tuned by Marcel Tagge in Klein Bünzow near the Polish border.
Theres even a Tagge Street in New Berlin, renamed Kitchener (Ontario) after the Germanophobia generated in Canada during World War I. Tagges are quite common in the border areas between Germany and Denmark (Schleswig-Holstein, see map.). Apart from Police Inspector Jrgen Tagge of Danish Immigration, the island of Fehmarn (Puttgarden, etc.) claims to be the origin of the name Tagge. There's also Karna Tagge of the Fredensborg Golf Club, Susanne Tagge(at StorageTek in Smørum) and Norwegian youth pole-vault-champion-turned fraudster Jørn Ronnie Tagge. For a longer list of Taggs and Tagges, click here.
Among musical / artistic / university Taggs online you'll find: John Tagg, James Tagg, Graeme Tagg, Kathleen or Kathy Tagg (South African pianist), Barbara Tagg, Stanley Tagg, Lawrence E Tagg, Lawrence V Tagg, Martyn Tagg, David Tagg, Graham Tagg (lead violin, Iceland Symphony Orchestra), Alan Tagg, brothers Peter and Derek Tagg (a.k.a. Richard Targett and Vic Austin respectively, both members of the band Trudy), Nick Tagg, Ken Tagg (record producer), etc., not to mention Larry Tagg (of Bourgeois Tagg fame) and Eric Tagg (adult contemporary fusion etc.). This preponderance of musical and university-type Taggs calls into question my strong aversion to genetic determinism: we all even look alike. Check also Annie Tagg (artist from Tennessee), Brian Tagg (retired film editor, living in Jamaica and involved in the nation's One People film project to celebrate the nation's fifty years of independence), Corey Tagg (music educator from Calgary), Dan Tagg (BBC, Director of Technology, Culture Online), and others in the ‘A few more Taggs’ list, below.
If Tagge and Tagg are names of Low German (North German/Danish) origin, what does tagg[e] mean? In Swedish and Norwegian tagg means thorn or spike. Tagg is also Swedish slang for a cigarette: guess how many times I heard the Philip Morris joke when I lived in Sweden (yawn). Nor does the fact that taggtråd means barbed wire in Swedish and Norwegian dissuade Scandinavians from making other sad puns on our name. Worse still, in English, nothing pleasant seems to rhyme with Tagg bag, dag, drag, fag, gag, hag, jag, lag, nag, rag, sag, slag and wag, for example: only crag, flag and stag seem relatively inoffensive. My mother wisely advised me as a Tagg not to poke fun at other peoples names. Still, as my Swedish students once kindly remarked, ingen ros utan tagg = no rose without thorn. Besides, if theres nothing strange about being called Spike [e.g. Milligan] or [EMI-]Thorn[e] in English, whats so weird about being called Tagg? As I said, we are legion and here to stay, at least until global warming melts the ice caps and releases all those billions of cubic kilometres of methane from the bottom of the ocean so that we end up like Venus (neighbouring planet, not the goddess of love). Why not start by scrapping all SUVs?
Philip from Greek Philippos (phil- = like, love; [h]ippos = horse): literally a male person who loves horses. Neither my parents nor the Greeks of ancient times meant that people named Philip engage in erotic acts with horses. Perhaps the Greeks meant something like speed freak since horses were the fastest mode of transport at the time. My parents, with their keen sense of assonance and language rhythm knew that a two- or three-syllable name with an accentuated vowel other than A [æ] would sound better than, for example, Jan Tagg or Ralph Tagg.
Among famous men who may have played a part in popularising the name Philip are:
In the Acts of the Apostles (New Testament of the Bible), chapter 8 (verses 26-38), we are told that an angel of God instructs Philip to go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza. The passage continues (complete passage in Latin):
After that Philip explains the passage about the Son of God being led like a lamb
to the slaughter and ends up baptising the Ethiopian. His hermeneutic
skills of persuasion were certainly more effective than mine are.
Actus Apostolorum, 8: 26-38 (complete passage in Latin)
Angelus autem Domini locutus est ad Philippum, dicens Surge et vade contra meridianum, ad viam quae descendit ab Hierusalem in Gazam: haec est deserta. Et surgens abiit. Et ecce vir Aethiops, eunuchus, potens Candacis reginae Aethiopum, qui erat super omnes gazas eius, venerat adorare in Hierusalem et revertebatur sedens super currum suum, legensque prophetam Esaiam. Dixit autem Spiritus Philippo Accede et adiunge te ad currum istum. Adcurrens autem Philippus, audivit eum legentem Esaiam prophetam et dixit Putasne intellegis quae legis? Qui ait Et quomodo possum, si non aliquis ostenderit mihi? Rogavitque Philippum ut ascenderet et sederet secum. Locus autem scripturae quam legebat erat hic: Tamquam ovis ad occisionem ductus est: et sicut agnus coram tondente se sine voce, sic non aperuit os suum. In humilitate iudicium eius sublatum est. Generationem illius quis enarrabit quoniam tollitur de terra vita eius. Respondens autem eunuchus Philippo dixit Obsecro te de quo propheta dicit hoc? De se an de alio aliquo? Aperiens autem Philippus os suum et incipiens ab scriptura ista, evangelizavit illi Iesum. Et dum irent per viam, venerunt ad quandam aquam; et ait eunuchus: Ecce aqua, quid prohibet me baptizari? Et iussit stare currum, et descenderunt uterque in aquam, Philippus et eunuchus, et baptizavit eum.
A few more Taggs broken links removed or mended 2013-01-04
How much TAGG do you contain?
Here's a 780-letter sequence from the DNA part of the human genome [source]. It contains four TAGGs.
That's one TAGG every 175 letters ("bases") in the chain. I've absolutely no idea what, if anything, that means in real terms.
Update 2016-05-28. Keith TAGG sent me the following message today. ‘As a microbiologist I actually know what TAGG means in regards to DNA: replication and translation.’ Now I’d love to know what that actually implies.
TAGG: a string of bases in the PLP1 gene
"[E]ach gene contains the genetic code that tells cells how to make a specific protein. The genetic code is made up of a string of bases that are represented by the letters A, C, G and T. This string of bases represents a small region of the PLP1 gene: TAGGACATCCCGACAAG". I don't know what that means either.
It also appears that the TAGG motif "can inhibit splicing" in gene mutation. It appears that TAGG in the 30-letter motif GATATCGGATAGTGTAGGGCAGGCATCGAT is "particularly effective in provoking exon skipping, cumulating the effects of a stop codon with those linked to the creation of a splicing repression sequence" [source].