Nag vs Lag - What's the difference?

nag | lag |

As nouns the difference between nag and lag

is that nag is a small horse; a pony or nag can be one who while lag is location.

As a verb nag

is to repeatedly remind or complain to someone in an annoying way, often about insignificant matters.



Etymology 1

(etyl) nagge'', cognate with Dutch ''negge


(en noun)
  • A small horse; a pony.
  • An old useless horse.
  • (obsolete, derogatory) A paramour.
  • * 1598 , , III. x. 11:
  • Yon ribaudred nag of Egypt – Whom leprosy o'ertake!
    * (old useless horse) dobbin, hack, jade, plug
    Coordinate terms
    * (old useless horse) bum (racing )

    Etymology 2

    Probably from a (etyl) source; compare Swedish .


  • To repeatedly remind or complain to someone in an annoying way, often about insignificant matters.
  • To act inappropriately in the eyes of peers, to backstab, to verbally abuse.
  • To bother with persistent memories.
  • The notion that he forgot something nagged him the rest of the day.
  • Other sorts of persistent annoyance, e.g.:
  • A nagging pain in his left knee
    A nagging north wind


    (en noun)
  • One who .
  • Anagrams

    * * * * ----




  • late
  • * 1592 , William Shakespeare, King Richard III
  • Some tardy cripple bore the countermand, / That came too lag to see him buried.
  • (obsolete) Last; long-delayed.
  • * Shakespeare
  • the lag end of my life
  • Last made; hence, made of refuse; inferior.
  • * Dryden
  • lag souls


  • (countable) A gap, a delay; an interval created by something not keeping up; a latency.
  • * 2004 , May 10. The New Yorker Online,
  • During the Second World War, for instance, the Washington Senators had a starting rotation that included four knuckleball pitchers. But, still, I think that some of that was just a generational lag .
  • (uncountable) Delay; latency.
  • * 1999 , Loyd Case, Building the ultimate game PC
  • Whatever the symptom, lag is a drag. But what causes it? One cause is delays in getting the data from your PC to the game server.
  • * 2001 , Patricia M. Wallace, The psychology of the Internet
  • When the lag is low, 2 or 3 seconds perhaps, Internet chatters seem reasonably content.
  • * 2002 , Marty Cortinas, Clifford Colby, The Macintosh bible
  • Latency, or lag , is an unavoidable part of Internet gaming.
  • (British, slang, archaic) One sentenced to transportation for a crime.
  • (British, slang) a prisoner, a criminal.
  • * 1934 , , Thank You, Jeeves
  • On both these occasions I had ended up behind the bars, and you might suppose that an old lag like myself would have been getting used to it by now.
  • (snooker) A method of deciding which player shall start. Both players simultaneously strike a cue ball from the baulk line to hit the top cushion and rebound down the table; the player whose ball finishes closest to the baulk cushion wins.
  • One who lags; that which comes in last.
  • * Alexander Pope
  • the lag of all the flock
  • The fag-end; the rump; hence, the lowest class.
  • * Shakespeare
  • the common lag of people
  • A stave of a cask, drum, etc.; especially (engineering) one of the narrow boards or staves forming the covering of a cylindrical object, such as a boiler, or the cylinder of a carding machine or steam engine.
  • A bird, the greylag.
  • Usage notes

    In casual use, lag' and (latency) are used synonymously for “delay between initiating an action and the effect”, with '''lag''' more casual. In formal use, ''latency'' is the technical term, while ' lag is used when latency is greater than usual, particularly in internet gaming.


    * (delay) latency

    Derived terms

    * time lag * jet lag * lagging jacket * lag screw


  • to fail to keep up (the pace), to fall behind
  • * 1596 , Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Canto I
  • Behind her farre away a Dwarfe did lag , / That lasie seemd in being ever last, / Or wearied with bearing of her bag / Of needments at his backe.
  • * 1616 , George Chapman, The Odysseys of Homer
  • Lazy beast! / Why last art thou now? Thou hast never used / To lag thus hindmost
  • * 1717 , The Metamorphoses of Ovid translated into English verse under the direction of Sir Samuel Garth by John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Joseph Addison, William Congreve and other eminent hands
  • While he, whose tardy feet had lagg'd behind, / Was doom'd the sad reward of death to find.
  • * 1798 , Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in seven parts
  • Brown skeletons of leaves that lag / My forest-brook along
  • * 2004 , — The New Yorker, 5 April 2004
  • Over the next fifty years, by most indicators dear to economists, the country remained the richest in the world. But by another set of numbers—longevity and income inequality—it began to lag behind Northern Europe and Japan.
  • to cover (for example, pipes) with felt strips or similar material
  • * c. 1974 , , The Building
  • Outside seems old enough: / Red brick, lagged pipes, and someone walking by it / Out to the car park, free.
  • (UK, slang, archaic) To transport as a punishment for crime.
  • * De Quincey
  • She lags us if we poach.
  • To cause to lag; to slacken.
  • * Heywood
  • To lag his flight.

    Derived terms

    * lagging * laggard

    See also

    * tardy


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