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tap was explained in the dictionary.
http://learnersdictionary.com/definition/tap

In the article :Fannie, Freddie surge as Trump taps advisors who back privatization.
Fannie, Freddie surge as Trump taps advisors who back privatization

sentence 1.

Fannie, Freddie surge as Trump taps advisors who back privatization.

The tap here means to hit (someone or something) lightly especially with a small sound?

senetence 2

Ken Blackwell, who’s been tapped to lead the domestic transition team,

The tap here means put into or selected or chosen?

sentence 3

John Paulson had been tapped to be a Trump advisor

The tap here means selected or chosen?

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  • 2
    All three of these mean "to choose (someone) for a particular job", not "to hit something lightly".
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 2:40

2 Answers 2

3

The term has been in use in this sense since the 1500s. (See tap (2) here)

Extended sense "make use of" is first recorded 1570s.

The "make use of" has come to be used in the sense of selected or chosen.

It comes from "tapping" (putting a spigot on) a keg of ale or beer so that its contents can be drawn out.

Oddly enough, its original sense was from "tapping, or hitting something" because the spigot was driven into the bunghole of the keg using a mallet.

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  • Physical spouts called "taps" are still hammered into maple trees to allow the sap to be collected, a process called "tapping."
    – randomhead
    Commented Sep 5, 2021 at 20:30
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This idiom uses definition 3: "to choose (someone) for a particular job, honor, etc." [often with "for" or "to be"]

When I hear this idiom, I imagine a coach literally "tapping a player on the shoulder" to tell him that he should play in a game.

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    I always think "Tag, you're it!" like the children's game.
    – Andrew
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 7:20

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