Do you use the term "oak tag" or know what it means?

When I was a kid and I had some school project I had to do that required posterboard, my dad would always say, “let’s go to the store and we’ll get you some oak tag” or something along those lines. By “oak tag,” what he meant was posterboard. He used the term as a generic term for posterboard.

I never hear anyone ever say this nowadays. Granted, I’m not in many contexts where posterboard is used. I always assumed it was an old fashioned term. But my dad is not an old fashioned guy at all. He doesn’t use any other outdated words.

I can only imagine that he picked this phrase up from his father or uncle, both of whom worked in the printing industry and may have had occasion to talk about “oak tag.”

Does anyone else use this arcane phrase?

I still hear it called “tag board” and have read “oak tag” but never heard it. I live in Wisconsin now but grew up in Michigan and have heard it in both places.

I haven’t thought about oaktag in at least 40 years.

We used it in school in New England when I was a kid. I remember a tough old teacher trying to motivate us to do better at something by saying we would get a piece of oaktag to use if we did well. It was a polished thin hard golden posterboard, doled out sparingly for special projects only. I never noticed it in stores, though. It was something only seen at school like that rough small-format yellow math paper.

Now I’ll daydream about sniffing me some nice fresh mimeos.

New Englander checking in whose NEVER heard that phrase. (I’m 33 FWIW)

Same age, grew up the same place, and I heard it fairly often.

It’s not a generic term for poster board, but for cardstock like medium that’s the color and weight of a manila folder, like this.

Upstate NY. Never heard it and would have had no idea what you were talking about prior to reading this thread.

Oak tag. Yeah, that brings back memories. I heard it all of the time (and used it) when I was in elementary school. Haven’t heard of it since. And like Parenchyma, I can smell the fresh mimeograph copies again, too.

Isn’t there a song about tying a yellow ribbon around an old oak tag?

FWIW, I haven’t heard the term other than from the song.

I heard “Tag board” a lot growing up but never thought about why it was called that. You fought my ignorance, or at least replaced it with new ignorance.

Never heard of oak tag but growing up I called and still do I guess poster board- bristol board. Grew up in Toronto 37.

Elementary school in the 70s in Upstate NY, we used oaktag, and also “vanilla” (manila) paper for special projects.

Grew up in NJ, lived in New England, Upstate NY, and Utah. I’ve never heard of “Oak Tag” before this thread, and would never have guessed that it referred to Poster Board.

Midwesterner. Never heard of it, never seen it. Reminds me of when I first heard someone mention Pee Chee folders, another oddball school item that seems to be regional in use, well-known in some areas, and virtually unknown outside of those areas.

Don’t use it, but I know what it means.

I recall it being used, apparently incorrectly as a generic term for poster board. It was a good poster board material though.

I’m over 40 and started out in NYC. But grew up in NJ. But I remember it more from my older sisters and not from school. So it was probably more common in NYC then Central Jersey.

Wow, that takes me back a long way - I haven’t heard of oak tag since the '70s in elementary school.

“Dittos”, surely? Ah, that purple ink, that smell…

I’ve heard of it, but just now I was getting it mixed up with Mactac (another arts ‘n’ crafts-style term). I would have heard it in school in Saskatchewan in the 80s.

…that achy shoulder from cranking the drum…

(My mom’s a teacher. Guess who used to be recruited to make her dittos for her?)

I grew up in the 60s in southeastern PA and remember hearing it sometimes. I was never sure what the actual words were, though; I heard it as “oaktech” and “oakteg.” I’m a word person and need to actually see a word before I completely understand it, so thanks for finally clearing this up!

(Now I must find out why it’s called “oak tag.”)

I don’t think I know this term from childhood, but as an adult I became aware of it.

This is exactly how I know it. It’s lighter weight than commercial posterboard, so it’s a better choice of material for making protest signs and that’s the context in which I know it. Protest signs on oak tag, attached to wrapping paper tubes, for minimal weight, maximum effectiveness.