mid-13c., "apparatus, gear," especially the rigging of a ship, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German takel "the rigging of a ship," perhaps related to Middle Dutch taken "grasp, seize" (see take (v.)), or perhaps from root of tack (n.1), which, if not the origin, has influenced the sense. Meaning "apparatus for fishing" is recorded from late 14c. Meaning "device for grasping and shifting or moving" is from 1530s. Meaning "act of tackling" in the sporting sense is recorded from 1876 (see tackle (v.)); as the name of a position in North American football, it is recorded from 1884. Welsh tacl is fro English.