The verb is from the 15th-century Middle English gaggen, Early Modern English gagge, possibly Old Norse (Old Icelandic) gag-háls (“with head thrown backwards”;> Norwegian dialectal gaga (“bent backwards” “)). The intransitive sense “to retch” is from 1707.

The noun is from the 16th century, figurative use (for “repression of speech”) from the 1620s. The secondary meaning “(practical) joke” is from 1863, of unclear origin.

Gag noun [ C ] (JOKE)
informal a joke or funny story, especially one told by a comedian (= person whose job is to make people laugh): I did a few opening gags about the band that had played before me.
us a trick played on someone or an action performed to entertain other people.

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