Word Origin & History
1907, shortening of taximeter cab (introduced in London in March 1907), from taximeter "automatic meter to record the distance and fare" (1898), from Fr. taximètre, from Ger. Taxameter (1890), coined from M.L. taxa "tax, charge." An earlier Eng. form was taxameter (1894), used in horse-drawn cabs.
The verb is first recorded 1911, from earlier noun use as slang for "aircraft." Taxicab is also first attested 1907. 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.