27 Responses

  1. Jonathan says:

    This must be the derivation of the Australian “tyke”, a usually derogatory term for Irish Catholic.

  2. The Macquarie Dictionary (“Australia’s National Dictionary”) agrees with you.

  3. Jason Walsh says:

    I somehow doubt that the word came from Australia to Ireland; more likely it went in the other direction.

    Anyway, “taig” (correct spelling: “Teague|) is derived from the Irish word “Tadhg”, which, according to different sources means either: “Irish”, “badger” or “bad poet”.

    As a surname it is now Teague; as a forename it is usually mis-transliterated as Timothy.

    Possibly for the same reason, “Tim” is a derogotary term for a Glaswegian Catholic.

    Teague and Tadh became a synonym for man: “Tadhg an dá thaobh” (Man of the street). At a later point, it became a reference to Catholics.

  4. Jason, if you reread the comments above, you’ll see nobody is claiming the term originated in Australia, simply that there is a separate Australian word, “tyke,” which is seems to be derived from taig.

    “Teague” is the older spelling for any Irishman; taig is far and away the more common spelling for the derogatory appellation for a Catholic. This is borne out by any number of citation searches.

    The OED has this for the etymology” “Anglicized spelling of the Irish name Tadhg,…fancifully identified with Thaddeus and its familiar form Thady.”

    I don’t have any information on the origins or meaning of “Tadhg.”

  5. Jason Walsh says:

    As always, particularly in Ireland, politics and language are not separate issues.

    “Taig” is indeed a more common spelling here, but it is only used as a term of abuse.

    “Teague” has, to a degree, been reclaimed by the nationalist community as an ironic, self-identifier.

  6. Exactly right. “Taig” is marked here as “derogatory” because that is the sense I have chosen to define, although, as you point out, there are other senses and nuances.

  7. Taig says:

    My surname is Taig and I live in scotland , If you go to google-then carroll taig ,you will see that Taig was the son of Cian (300BC) who helped Cormac back to power and was given land known as Cianachta for his help.So that
    is where the name originates.
      Did you know the celts originated from an area around Austria well before modern religion was invented.

  8. So if a person were to name a child Taig, in any spelling, would it be like naming the baby the “N” word. Is it that derogitory?

  9. Ben Teague says:

    Err-hmm, derogatory? It just depends. The U.S. has several families named Teague/Tigue/Tighe (and other spellings), most from Ireland, some apparently from Cornwall. Americans by and large don’t know where the name comes from (I’ve heard it wrongly parsed as deriving from Montague) and have no idea what associations it may carry elsewhere. When surnames morph into christian names, no one seems to regard “Teague” as a down-market entry.

    As an occupational name, lowercase, Irish teagues get credit for building many miles of railroads here.

    Up till 1800, more or less, English stage comedies had a stock Irish servant usually named Teg, not so terribly different from stock “colored” servants in 20th-century American comedy except that his trousers were tighter.

  10. Ben Carter says:

    my knowledge on the matter are that Tadgh, was a very common irish name in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. so common that eventually an irishman was known as a tadgh as far as i know pronounced tie-ge. This is the same reason Irish are known as paddy’s, because Patrick later became common.All the variations on the name Tadgh come from, the spelling and pronunciation. In Australia the term for a catholic has always been a tyke, noone generally knows where it came from but it must have come over with all the bigotry of the old world. sounding much more like the correct pronunciation.

  11. Bhoysown says:

    Jason noted this – Teague; as a forename it is usually mis-transliterated as Timothy.

    Possibly for the same reason, “Tim” is a derogotary term for a Glaswegian Catholic.

    Sorry Jason, but that is incorrect – The term “Tim” refers to Glasgow Celtic supporters & originates from the name of an old East End Glasgow gang known as the “Tim Molloys” – just as the term “Billy Boys” (Rangers fans) does not relate to King Billy (William of Orange), but originates from another Glasgow gang of the same name

  12. Wikipedia is writing a definition regarding the name “Teague”.So far they prefer to make it a durogtory meaning. I have read that it comes from Gaelic meaning,” Poet”. However I have also read that The first Teague’s came over to Ireland from Spain.
    Another account has us coming from France. In either case we are talking about the origin being from Black (haired) Irish for the most part.  The Teague’s here in the U.S. held one of the largest Slave Populations on the South. Government Records show that we also married into the Tribe of the Cherokee. The French people that I have known considered it of French derivation.The name Montague is a good guess for the basis of consideration.

  13. Wikipedia is writing a definition regarding the name “Teague”.So far they prefer to make it a durogtory meaning. I have read that it comes from Gaelic meaning,” Poet”. However I have also read that The first Teague’s came over to Ireland from Spain.
    Another account has us coming from France. In either case we are talking about the origin being from Black (haired) Irish for the most part.  The Teague’s here in the U.S. held one of the largest Slave Populations on the South. Government Records show that we also married into the Tribe of the Cherokee. The French people that I have known considered it of French derivation.The name Montague is a good guess for the basis of consideration. I forgot to add,The information we get here in the U.S. in some Family Heretage books,include that Teague is a diravation of McTeague
    which ofcourse is also a very famous name from the book of the same title. Other sources show how Teague is mispelled and mispronounced as Tiegs,
    Tigs,Teagle,and Peague. Go figure out the last one for your selves.

    Top O’ the Morning to you,where ever you are.

    Dave Teague

  14. Hey Guys,

    I have a bit more information about the Origin of the name Teague which I have been told is Montague
    However their is an easy to find for-runner of a name that it thought by some to be a forerunner of the name Teague as well. That name is Montacute. Where Montacute comes from exactly is still a Mystery to me.

    An article about a famous Montecute has been published in the Web-Encyclopedia called Wikipedia,and if Wikipedia is to be believed at all it starts like this…“He was the son of Sir John Montacute and Margaret de Monthermer. His father was the younger brother of William Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury. His mother was the granddaughter and heiress of Ralph de Monthermer, 1st Baron Monthermer). As a young man Montacute distinguished himself in the war with France, and then went to fight against the pagans in Prussia, probably on the expedition led by Henry Bolingbroke (the future Henry IV of England). Bolingbroke was to entrust his young son and heir, later Henry V, to the care of Sir John and his wife Margaret following the death of his wife Mary de Bohun. Lady Margaret cared for the young boy at a Montacute house in Welsh Bicknor near Monmouth until her death in 1395.He was summoned to parliament in 1391 as Baron Montagu.

    Montagu was a favorite of the King during the early years of the reign of Richard II. He accompanied the King during his expeditions to Ireland in 1394 and 1395, and as a privy councilor was one of the principal advocates of the King’s marriage to Isabella of Valois. During the trips to France associated with the marriage, he met and encouraged Christine de Pisan, whose son was educated in the Montagu household. Montagu was a prominent Lollard, and was remonstrated by the King for this.”

    Now since so many people believe these public records to be true,we now know that the name Montecute was changed from Montecute to Montagu, if only in spelling during Montacute’s own lifetime…we can trust that that type of thing went on very frequently in Europe during that period…it is known by Ellis Island records in New York that European names were frequently changed and misspelled and became apart of common place usage even with their misspelling. This must have happened many times during mankind’s history.

    Since that is a proven fact, I will make a list of some of the Variations of the name of Montacute that have existed atleast from the 14th Century and after.

    Montacute
    Montagu
    Montague
    Montealegre
    McTeague
    Teague
    Teagle
    Teasley
    Teigs
    Tigs
    McTague
    Tague
    Tahg
    Tagle

    The name Montealegre appears during the reign of King Alfonso VIII as a Lordship of an Alfonso Téllez. the name continues to be connected to this noble family, when a century later there appears a Lord of Montealegre; Tello Perez de Meneses.Spanish words “Monte”, meaning “Mount” or “Mountain”, and “alegre”, meaning “happy”.

    I added Montealegre because the similarity in some of the spelling and the similarity in feeling of the meaning of Teague in Gaelic, which is the Language of the land where the name Teague and McTeague and all of their derivative names first appear in written form these names are historically included as being apart of the shared Scottish and Irish heritage. Infact because of the popularity of some Teague’s as well as the fact that the very wealthy McTeague’s and Teague’s were a very big part of the Slavery trade during the Slavery era their are so many former slaves were related to te slave Owners Family in some way that many of the Slave families took the name of the SLave owner as their own last name as well,many came to North America with the name Teague and many stayed in Europe those that did seem to have accepted that in Ireland that the common English meaning of Teague seems to have changed recently to mean “regular Irish-man” or “Common bloke” or “regular Irish Catholic”.

    Now that being said it is during the time of that appearance of the name McTeague and Teague etc,that the French(or as they were called then, the “Normands” )had physical control of Ireland,Scotland and England. And at that time of Normand influence in Ireland the true meaning of the name Teague is accepted as coming from the Irish Language of Gaelic, and in Gaelic the name Teague means “Poet”, which to me is very “happy” feeling to it and might have been used in someones mind as a similar meaning as “alegre” which is the basis for the very similar name of “Montealegre” which is also from France. Funny thing is that so many Teague’s are Writers, Poets and Film-Makers.

    I hope that makes sense to everyone reading this.

    See you Teagues later,

    Dave Teague

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montealegre

  15. Taig in Glasgow is a derogatory term for a Celtic fan or someone of Irish Catholic background. More often than not, it’s one in the same.

  16. Now here’s another derivation for Teague/Teagle – not yet noted. A teagle was associated with trapping birds using a looped string (according to a crossword definition). I had always assumed the poet/bard definition out of Ireland was most likely…so was amused by the idea that our name derives from the techniques of poachers…certainly as a poet the practices of ‘catching’ a line are as delicate as this approach to catching birds!I’ve seen small birds caught this way in Mediterranean & Middle Eastern countries.Patience & silence & stillness in the late autumn winter landscape!

  17. Dave Thighe says:

    my surname is thighe – which is extremely rare (only known my family to have it) and i’ve always wondered whether it is derived from teague or tighe- as my grandfather was from liverpool (and therefore a likely connection to ireland)i reckon it must be)- any other thighes out there or linguists who can confirm it is same as tighe/teague?

    Dave Thighe

  18. David Teague says:

    Well as a logical person..I would just add it to the list of dirvation as I have below..and I would welcome everyone I meet to the extended family of Noah, from the Ark:

    below is my new list..I hope our moderator doesn’t mind my addition

    Montacute
    Montagu
    Montague
    Montealegre
    McTeague
    Teague
    Teagle
    Teasley
    McTague
    Tague
    Tahg
    Tagle
    tighe
    Thighe
    Tigs
    and perhaps an attempt by a distant family member at remembering the proper spelling
    after being sold as a slave or growing up as an un-educated endentured servent:Teigs

  19. Dave Thighe says:

    I once heard, talking in a pub, that there was once a ‘tax’ on irish names in england and many irish names were anglisized by the addition of letters to avoid this charge- maybe that explains the odd ‘h’ in my surname- or perhaps the story is just a bit of ol’blarney.
    must admit never got round to checking the ‘tax’ story- can anyone confirm? Also heard that teague meant ‘tinker’- itinerant worker- i suppose a bard is likely to be itinerant- going around sharpening words instead of knives!

    Dave Thighe (nee Tighe?), Cambridge England

  20. Interesting that the term Tyke is used in Australia to refer to an Irishman. In England it is generally used to refer to a Yorkshireman, and is often used by Yokshiremen to refer to themselves. Hence the nickname of Barnsley Football Club ‘The Tykes’.

    In other parts of England it is sometimes used to refer to a wayward boy ‘little tyke’.

  21. My name is Patrick Montague.My Grandfather of the same name family moved to New York in the mid to late 1800s and he returned to Ireland and married. They the Montague’s where from Co.Tyrone in what is now N.Ireland.I was told that the name of “TEAGUE” was the old name of Montague.That this name was taken as not to loose land at the time if the plantation of the north of Ireland.People referred to as “taking the soup”

  22. David Teague says:

    Since their seems to be a corroboration for the relation of the names Teague and Montague..their is obviously a link.

    thanks for the notification; my dear Moderator.

    Thats one for the family records

    dear distant cousin Patrick..you should send that info the Irish Heritage Society.

    Glad to read your comment.

  23. John Teague says:

    I have been told by an imported Irish priest that McTeague meant son of the house and referred to the bastard children of nobles.  Nice story but I’m not sure that I buy it.  We do know that John Adams used the word “teague” when he was defending the British soldiers who fired into the mob in Boston.  He denied that the people fired on were patriots and characterized them as “Negroes, Mulattoes, jack-tars and Irish teagues.”  I have also read that Teague may have referred to a pretty person but in a derogatory way.  Since the name is probably Gaelic then I believe “wise poet” is most likely correct.

  24. Rod Teague says:

    Very pleasant 10 minutes reading the derivations of my surname. I have also seen in print from 2 separate sources that Teague was an anglo-saxon name for “he of fair complexion”. Basically we are colonial mongrels who could never be accused of inbreeding!
    A couple of years ago I was dragged to a Rangers/Celtic game with a stern warning to watch out for the Jungle Jims! To clarify the Jungle was where the Celtic fans stood & Jim rhymes with Tim.
    Regards.

  25. I together,

    I find it pretty amusing to find that there is so much about the name Teague. I for my self have actually been looking for the tartan to use when buying a Kilt.
    From the people I know ( I live in Europe and travel a lot there. I have found out that either Galway or Uster are the counties where the name teague generates from! IN fact one of them is more then just interesting! If any of you have checked out history to about the time where the Gaelic (Island Kelts) fought Viking Invations. One part of them went up north to flee and became the so known Highlanders! But the name Teague at that part was actually the first Sun of Brian Boru! (That was the last King to unite ireland and fight) To that Time fam. names where not really there yet. The saying I hear is that they started after the Viking had invaded that part. (I have not real a clue about the viking history) Well they started of as Sun of (o’ or MC) The MC and O is in the dictonarie – find it your self!

    The only thing that I do know is that I like the name. It might have chnaged in time or traveled the World! A lot of bad people and good people had it in their papers!

    Well if that means I have an ancient gaelic Name—thats extreemly cool!

    best regards

  26. paul Teague says:

    It seems that the French/Irish branches of Teague came from France in 1300′s via the Normans in Ireland.

    ”The name Montague has at least three separate origins. The first comes from Normandy, de Monte Acuto. Translated as “of the Mountain Peak.” Later this was spelled Montecute, Montagu or Montague. Drogo de Monte-Acuto is claimed to have brought the name to England in the time of William I.”
    The second comes from Ireland as MacTague, the son of Tague, eventually transforming into Montague. Descendants of the Irish Montague’s were dispersed all over the British Isles and were already inhabiting England before the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

    http://balder.prohosting.com/shissem/Hissem_Lords_of_the_Manor.html#Drogo De Monte-Acuto.

    However there may be other branches where the name is a derivation or something else. Its disturbing that some sites that make money out of such names will put anything there to sell a crests that have may nothing whatsoever to do with the main origins of name Teague.hat have may nothing whatsoever to do with the main origins of name Teague.

  27. paul Teague says:

    It seems that the French/Irish branches of Teague came from France in 1300′s via the Normans in Ireland.

    ”The name Montague has at least three separate origins. The first comes from Normandy, de Monte Acuto. Translated as “of the Mountain Peak.” Later this was spelled Montecute, Montagu or Montague. Drogo de Monte-Acuto is claimed to have brought the name to England in the time of William I.”
    The second comes from Ireland as MacTague, the son of Tague, eventually transforming into Montague. Descendants of the Irish Montague’s were dispersed all over the British Isles and were already inhabiting England before the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

    http://balder.prohosting.com/shissem/Hissem_Lords_of_the_Manor.html#Drogo De Monte-Acuto.

    However there may be other branches where the name is a derivation or something else. Its disturbing that some sites that make money out of such names will put anything there to sell a crests that have may nothing whatsoever to do with the main origins of name Teague.

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