Thursday, July 28, 2016


Geoffrey wrote, “Yesterday I was at the local saddle and bridle store (Square Deal Country Store) and I thought, this is the tack store.  So my wife and I are wondering about the origin of the word tack as it refers to horses, bridles, saddles, etc.”

Tack came from similar words that existed in German, Dutch, French and Celtic. It meant to fasten or attach, and referred to the buckles and fasteners used in preparing a horse for work or for riding.

The Oxford English Dictionary has many meanings for tack, n1

·      a small sharp-pointed nail, as in thumb tack, carpet tack, brass tack

·      a support or fastening in the shape of a strip used to secure plant shoots or a pipe

·      a temporary stitch used in sewing

·      a stickiness felt before varnish dries completely

·      the rope or lashing used to secure a ship’s sail

·      the zigzag course of a sailing ship influenced by the direction of the wind and the position of the sails

·      a circuitous line of conduct or action

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