General English


  • noun
    (written as WAG)
    a spendthrift, vacuous, glamorous young female. The term is formed from the initials of ‘wives and girlfriends’ and was inspired by the behaviour of the England football team’s partners during the 2006 World Cup. A media invention, the word subsequently passed into colloquial speech.
  • verb to play truant. A variant of the older British form ‘hop the wag’, in which the wag in question is a shortening of waggon.
  • acronym forwives and girlfriends
    (written as WAG)

Origin & History of “wag”

Wag was derived from the middle English descendant of Old English wagian ‘totter’, a word related to English wave of the sea. Waggle (15th c.) was based on it. The noun wag ‘comical fellow’, first recorded in the 16th century, is generally taken to be short for waghalter, literally ‘someone who swings to and fro in a noose’, hence ‘someone destined for the gallows’.