We asked 986 British people what they called the playground chasing-game: tig, tag or it

Here are the results:

Tig and tiggy are found in the north (and Cornwall), and tag in the South. The Home Counties use h-words: he, hit and had, which are unheard of outside those regions.

Then there are few oddities: tip in North Wales, tap in Portsmouth, tuggy in Newcastle, and dobby in Nottingham. What the hell, Nottingham?

(At private schools, there’s a lot more “tag” and “it”: hardly any “tig” at all compared to the rest of the UK.)

Hell’s bells! We’ve got data!

Here’s the raw data for all these questions and a more precise Google Map if you want to do your own analysis.

In 1969, Iona and Peter Opie wrote “Children’s Games in Street and Playground”, which included a map; most of our respondents grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, so we’d expect to see a similar distribution. And indeed, we do.

(It’d be interesting to get parents to survey their kids, and see if anything’s changed: how much traction has Diary of a Wimpy Kid‘s cheese touch got?)

Other countries

  • Australia likes “chase”, “chasey” and “tiggy”.
  • Finland goes for “hippa”.
  • Germany uses “fangen”.
  • Italy uses “Ce l’hai”, which is literally “You’ve got”, or “You’re it”.
  • Ireland has several names, but Dublin goes with the wonderfully literal “chasing”.
  • Netherlands kids call it “tikkertje”
  • New Zealand splits between “tig” and “tag”.
  • Philippines has “tagaanay”.
  • Portugal has “apanhada”.
  • Sweden: we had three responses and four names: “Pjätt”, “Leka ta fatt”, “Kull” and “Varg”, all of which sound like villains-of-the-week from Star Trek.
  • and the United States uses “tag” almost universally. Boring.

We also asked about dinner, supper and tea

There’s a pretty clear north-south divide here…

…but interestingly, if you went to private school, you are significantly more likely to say “supper” – 7% in the general population, 18% in private schools. (Raw data; precise map)

Keep rollin’, rollin’ rollin’

And finally, we asked about what you call a bread roll, the kind of thing you might split in two and fill with ham and cheese (or chips, if you’re from the north).

…but we cocked up the question and asked about a “small bread roll” rather than just showing a picture, so people interpreted it different ways and these results are probably not accurate. (Raw data; precise map)

That said, what’s wrong with you, Oldham? That’s clearly not a muffin. Weirdos.

by UsVsTh3m Staff

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