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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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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.

Where did you look it up? – bib Sep 6 '12 at 4:55 – RegDwigнt Sep 6 '12 at 9:09

1 Answer 1

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: – 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](…, 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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