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To wag school

Posted by ESC on July 28, 2005

In Reply to: To wag school posted by Kit on July 28, 2005

: I watched a programme on TV that featured the expression 'to wag school', ie. to play truant. Having used the 'wagging' expression myself many years ago I was wondering whether there was any historical origin to the phrase?

WAG -- verb. Australian. to play truant. A variant of the older British form "hop the wag," in which the wag in question is a shortening of waggon. "And don't you go wagging school this afternoon either -- I might be bringing Frank around." Richmond Hill, Australian TV series, 1988.

WAG IT, WAG OFF -- A modern version of the phrases "hop the wag" and "on the wag" used by school children.

From "Dictionary of Contemporary Slang" by Tony Thorne (Pantheon Books, New York, 1990). Page 548-549.

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