I’ve found a couple of explanations for this one, none of them burdened with much by way of evidence.
I’m thinking of the meaning of “The operation was a success, but it’s still touch and go”.
Etymonline gives us a tag like game, which is not the same sense. There is also the aircraft landing technique, when the pilot will intentionally abort a landing as part of training, called a touch and go.
I’ve seen a definition that will keep the CANOEists happy http://www.defence.pk/forums/members-club/79527-etymology-common-expressions.html
(this site is a ripper for the canoeists). I’ve also seen sites that refer to horsedrawn carriages touching wheels, but not tangling, enabling them to ‘touch and go’.
It’s an old phrase. Any suggestions on its beginnings? What/who was touched?