mid-15c., "stick marked with notches to indicate amount owed or paid," from Anglo-French tallie (early 14c.), Anglo-Latin talea (late 12c.), from Medieval Latin tallia, from Latin talea "a cutting, rod, stick" (see tailor, and cf. sense history of score). Meaning "a thing that matches another" first recorded 1650s, said to be from practice of splitting a tally lengthwise, debtor and creditor each retaining one of the halves. Sports sense of "a total score" is from 1856.
mid-15c., from Medieval Latin talliare "to tax," from tallia (see tally (n.)). Related: Tallied; tallying.