Growing up all the old folks and motor heads talked about "tall gears" and I guess it stuck in my head. I know that mostly this was in the context of off road applications (Scouts, CJs, K5s, Tractors, etc.) and they were talking about "lower" gear ratios. No one around did any street builds, except maybe a few who like to drag race.
But if today I said, "I think you need taller gears for those 37s" people would probably look at me funny.
I found some discussions about the term "taller gears" or "tall gears" that jive with my memories.
The only general consensus was that "taller" should be taken in context, and probably points out the fact someone changed the factory ring and pinion to a lower gear ratio (higher numerically) or in the world of auto-racing it can / often does mean the exact opposite.
or gearing produce higher top speeds and have a smaller numeric value."
Then I found a list that had all the terms I had heard before and a few new ones.
Anyway, most of the modern talk just spells out the ratio anyway, so maybe it's a non-issue.