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Native development. Probably from an otherwise unattested stem of unknown origin + -ad (frequentative verb-forming suffix).


There are two main theories about the origin of this word. Both derived the first syllable from Proto-Baltic *ta-, from Proto-Indo-European *to-, an old pronominal stem, whence also tas (this). The second syllable is, according to one theory, from the particle ga and an extra -d (< da). The same particle ga can be found in Lithuanian tàgatės (thus, like that) and Old Prussian anga (or), and in reduced form in 17th-century arīg (modern arī “too”) and as dz (< *dzi < parallel form *gi) in nedz). An alternative theory, however, derives the second syllable in tagad from gads, now “year” but previously also “time”: from an earlier accusative *tagadi (this time) would have come present-day tagad “now.” Cognates include Old Church Slavonic тогда (togda), тъгда (tŭgda), Russian тогда (togdá), Ukrainian тогді (tohdí), тогід (tohid, last year), Bulgarian тога (togá), Czech tehdy, dialectal tehda (then).