The present-day Tausug is the descendant of the different ethnic group that migrated in Sulu Archipelago. Sulu salsila (genealogy) and tradition speak of Buranon, Tagimaha, Baklaya, Orang Dampuan and Orang Banjar as the earlier migrants to the archipelago.
The Buranon (mountain residents) are believed to be the forerunners of the Sulu nobility. Tuan Masaika, Datu Sipad and datu Naruangsa were the most notable descendants of the group who organized a proto-Tausug Sultanate government based in what is today Mainbung.
The Tagimaha (The Party of Protector) came from Basilan, but their origin was from Mindanao. They settled in Buansa (embraced by present day Jolo).
The Baklaya (Seashore dwellers) settled in the area of Patikul, and are believed to have come from the Celebes (now Sulawesi) in Indonesia.
Orang Dampuan were from Champa, an ancient Indochina's kingdom formerly located in what is now Vietnam.
The language spoken by the Tausog is primarily adopted from the vocabulary of Tagimaha in whose locality the Sultan of Sulu lived and established the capital of the Sultanate - Buansa.
The word Tausug is the recognition of the geographic character of the Sulu Archipelago that lies in the path of vigorous tidal currents flowing from the Sulu and China Seas to the Celebes Sea. Practically all the groups in the Sultanate are sea-oriented: sailors, traders, fishermen, pearl divers, sea seed collectors, etc. Thus, Tausug are "People of the Current".
Also, they possess an unquestionable courage and bravely, therefore Tausug are Tau Maisug or "brave people".