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?
closed as general reference by RegDwigнt♦ Sep 6 '12 at 9:08
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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.