Here is the sentence:

Courtney Love and the Cobain estate tapped Morgen to make a film examining the life of the late Nirvana frontman, and the project has started to come together after five years of planning.

I am not sure whether I understand to the emphasized part of the sentence. Will somebody help me? Does it mean that Cobain’s items from legacy have inspired the director?


The Cobain estate is the legal entity that remains of Kurt Cobain’s assets, mostly represented by lawyers, I presume.

Tap in this sense (ODO article, sense 3) is to:

Designate or select (someone) for a task or honour, especially membership of an organization or committee

In other words, Courtney Love and the lawyers that represent Kurt Cobain’s estate jointly selected Morgen to the director to make the film in question.

  • 2
    It's very common. For example, this one, from near the top of a google search for "tapped for project": Starchitect Norman Foster tapped for Transbay mixed-use project – Ross Presser May 16 '14 at 17:35
  • I’ve heard it before, but I wouldn’t say it’s “very common” in my experience either. Perhaps I just don’t move in fancy enough circles. – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 16 '14 at 17:37
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    It's very common in the US. I never stopped to think of the origin, but have always had a mental image of tapping a tree or putting a tap in them to draw on their experience. Now I might need to investigate the etymology of this use. :/ – anongoodnurse May 16 '14 at 17:48
  • @medica, I suspect it does derive from tapping a tree. The meaning is similar. – Brian S May 16 '14 at 18:53
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    I'd always assumed (no evidence) that the origin was related to games where you physically tap the next person to be 'It' , like in tag. – Karen May 16 '14 at 19:01

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