I was trying to find a translation of this in another language when I realized I wasn't entirely sure what the official name of such a device is in my own language. I've seen both "ankle bracelet" and "ankle brace" refer to such a thing, but both of those can mean other things as well. Nevertheless, when referring to some sort of court ordered ankle monitoring device, is one preferred over the other?

For research I've done little more than Google searches of news articles and books. Rather than spend more time on it, I thought I'd see what the experts here at English Language & Usage might know about this topic or see if someone here would like to use this opportunity to practice their research skills.

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    I don't think "ankle brace" is correct. This refers to a flexible fabric support bandage used for, say, a sprained ankle.
    – rajah9
    Oct 25, 2020 at 11:24
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    There are lots of Google results for the term I've always heard: "ankle monitor".
    – nnnnnn
    Oct 25, 2020 at 11:37
  • You may need to specify between AmE and BrE. Oct 25, 2020 at 20:11
  • @Cascabel I see what you mean, but my preference would be to leave it as is and hope that experts from both sides of the pond chime in eventually. Thanks for suggesting it, though!
    – Lisa Beck
    Oct 25, 2020 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


'Electronic Tag' is the official nomenclature.

Electronic Tags - Electronic monitoring (known as ‘tagging’) is used in England and Wales to monitor curfews and conditions of a court or prison order.


I have heard the word 'bracelet' being used colloquially, but this causes confusion with the other slang meaning of 'bracelet'.

Urban Dictionary

As mentioned in comment by @Kate Bunting, there was a BBC Radio sitcom called 'Ankle Tag', regarding an ex-convict on license situation, which aired in 2017 and 2018.

Wikipedia - BBC - 'Ankle Tag'

The Ngram (1960-2019) shows 'electronic tag' is used far more than 'ankle tag'. It would be meaningless to Ngram just the word 'tag' due to confusion of contexts.

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    There was a BBC radio sitcom called "Ankle Tag". Oct 25, 2020 at 11:38
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    In the US, I think that ankle bracelet or ankle monitor is more common. See definitions.uslegal.com/e/electronic-ankle-bracelet
    – mankowitz
    Oct 25, 2020 at 15:11
  • Thank you for your comment. As a speaker of American English, I'd probably give you the green checkmark if this were an answer (even though I didn't specify which type of English in my question). Sadly though, had Google listed uslegal.com nearer to the front of the results yielded, I may not have felt the need to post the question if it weren't for the fact that I was also interested in common usage. I find it somewhat amusing that the U.S. tends to use bracelet, the same word used for the piece of jewelry by the same name and that the U.K. uses tag, something we use to locate animals.
    – Lisa Beck
    Oct 25, 2020 at 21:50

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