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Can you shed any light on the... | Almanac.com

Can you shed any light on the...

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Can you shed any light on the origins of the word taxicab?
Actually, there are two word origins to consider—taxi and cab. Taxi comes from the French, taximetre, which became taximeter (tax per meter) in English. The mechanical meter on which to base fares came into usage about the end of the 19th century. Before automobile taxis, however, there were horsedrawn cabs. In the 1800s, the cabriolet was well-known as a lightweight, two-wheeled carriage that could be easily drawn by one horse. Cabriolet is a French derivative of a word for skipping lightness, or capering. France, Italy, and England all had cabriolets for hire in their bigger cities. These cabriolets were nicknamed cabs and their drivers were cabbys.

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