Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
1907, shortening of taximeter cab (introduced in London in March 1907), from taximeter "automatic meter to record the distance and fare" (1898), from French taximètre, from German Taxameter (1890), coined from Medieval Latin taxa "tax, charge." An earlier English form was taxameter (1894), used in horse-drawn cabs. Taxi dancer "woman whose services may be hired at a dance hall" is recorded from 1930. Taxi squad in U.S. football is 1966, from a former Cleveland Browns owner who gave his reserves jobs with his taxicab company to keep them paid and available ["Dictionary of American Slang"], but other explanations (short-term hire or shuttling back and forth from the main team) seem possible.
1911, from earlier slang use of taxi (n.) for "aircraft." Related: Taxied; taxiing.
chauffeur-driven automobile available for hire to carry passengers between any two points within a city or its suburbs for a fare determined by a meter or zone system or a flat rate. The taxicab is named after the taximeter, an instrument invented by Wilhelm Bruhn in 1891 that automatically recorded the distance traveled and/or the time consumed, thus enabling the fare to be accurately measured. The term cab derives from the cabriolet, a two-wheeled, one-horse carriage often let out for hire