In the early 2000s Victoria University of Wellington linguists Laurie and Winifred Bauer researched and mapped children's playground language. One result showed how the same playground chasing game was given a different name according to the geographic location of the school. 'Tig' was mainly used in Otago and Southland; 'tag' was dominant in the rest of the South Island and lower North Island, while 'tiggy' was ascendant in the upper North Island. In 1898 a correspondent to the Otago Witness had pontificated on the origin of the word 'tig'. (The game involves one child trying to catch and touch another in the group, and shouting 'tag', 'tiggy' or 'tig', after which the tagged person becomes the chaser.)
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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Otago Witness, 30 June 1898, p.42
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