Is there an easy way to get a tag name?

For example, if I am given $('a') into a function, I want to get 'a'.

Solution 1

You can call .prop("tagName"). Examples:

jQuery("<a>").prop("tagName"); //==> "A"
jQuery("<h1>").prop("tagName"); //==> "H1"
jQuery("<coolTagName999>").prop("tagName"); //==> "COOLTAGNAME999"

If writing out .prop("tagName") is tedious, you can create a custom function like so:

jQuery.fn.tagName = function() {
  return this.prop("tagName");


jQuery("<a>").tagName(); //==> "A"
jQuery("<h1>").tagName(); //==> "H1"
jQuery("<coolTagName999>").tagName(); //==> "COOLTAGNAME999"

Note that tag names are, by convention, returned CAPITALIZED. If you want the returned tag name to be all lowercase, you can edit the custom function like so:

jQuery.fn.tagNameLowerCase = function() {
  return this.prop("tagName").toLowerCase();


jQuery("<a>").tagNameLowerCase(); //==> "a"
jQuery("<h1>").tagNameLowerCase(); //==> "h1"
jQuery("<coolTagName999>").tagNameLowerCase(); //==> "cooltagname999"

Solution 2

You can use the DOM's nodeName property:


Solution 3

As of jQuery 1.6 you should now call prop:



Solution 4

jQuery 1.6+


Older versions


toLowerCase() is not mandatory.

Solution 5

This is yet another way:


Solution 6

You should NOT use jQuery('selector').attr("tagName").toLowerCase(), because it only works in older versions of Jquery.

You could use $('selector').prop("tagName").toLowerCase() if you're certain that you're using a version of jQuery thats >= version 1.6.

Note :

You may think that EVERYONE is using jQuery 1.10+ or something by now (January 2016), but unfortunately that isn't really the case. For example, many people today are still using Drupal 7, and every official release of Drupal 7 to this day includes jQuery 1.4.4 by default.

So if do not know for certain if your project will be using jQuery 1.6+, consider using one of the options that work for ALL versions of jQuery :

Option 1 :


Option 2


Solution 7

nodeName will give you the tag name in uppercase, while localName will give you the lower case.


will give you : yourelement instead of YOURELEMENT

Solution 8

get clicked tag name with jQuery

jQuery("YOUR_SELECTOR").click(function (e) {