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I always see the word in sentence like, "it's a tad faser". Or people say "tad", as if they are frustrated. So, what's the meaning of the word? When to use it?

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Where did you look it up? –  bib Sep 6 '12 at 4:55
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tad –  RegDwigнt Sep 6 '12 at 9:09
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closed as general reference by RegDwigнt Sep 6 '12 at 9:08

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It means a little bit. Per the OED:

A small amount; freq. used advb. in the expression a tad, a little, slightly.

  • 1940 Amer. Speech XV. 448/1 ― Tad, a very small amount. ‘I want to borrow a tad of salt.’
  • 1969 L. Michaels Going Places 159, ― I tried to smile. ‘You come back later, baby. I’m a tad indisposed.’
  • 1976 Time 27 Sept. 39/2 ― ‘Pull ’er up a tad, please, mister,’ said the nonchalant teen-ager pumping gas.
  • 1977 Time 14 Mar. 28/3 ― White House watchers also think they can glimpse a tad of arrogance showing through the good ole boy pose.
  • 1977 Globe & Mail (Toronto) 15 Dec. 8/2 ― Things are a tad hectic.
  • 1979 D. Anthony Long Hard Cure xv. 116 ― Why don’t we sit here on the veranda? There’s a tad of breeze.
  • 1980 N.Y. Times 12 Aug. a18/1 ― The Mayor’s pitch is a tad exaggerated both on the law’s certainty and on the roominess of New York’s prisons.

You can use it wherever you would use a little or a bit:

  • I’m a tad tired of the same old supper every night.
  • Q: You tired yet? A: Yeah, a tad.
  • Personally, I’m a tad unclear on how something that hasn't even been out for a full week already counts as “old”.
  • That sounds a tad off to me.
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Nice answer. It's worth noting that I've never heard, "It's tad" before in my life. Not sure where OP got that one. –  Jim Sep 6 '12 at 3:33
Also, since tad also means 'little', it's also used as: "I'm running a tad bit late for the dinner, honey." –  Saad Rehman Shah Sep 6 '12 at 5:31
@Caffeine Never heard that. "Running a tad late," yes, but never tad and bit together. –  Andrew Leach Sep 6 '12 at 7:20
I read it in en email from my college's Program Cordinator. I guess it's not used as such formally. Here's what google says: grammarphobia.com/blog/2012/01/tad.html –  Saad Rehman Shah Sep 6 '12 at 7:31
I agree with Andrew Leach. I have never heard tad and bit used together, and this is supported by [Ngram](books.google.com/ngrams/…, BNC (48 tad; 0 tad bit), and COCA (1412 tad; 14 tad bit). –  Roaring Fish Sep 6 '12 at 8:39
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