[Ads-l] Taxi - verb

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed May 18 20:19:59 EDT 2016

New twist in the etymology of the verb, taxi, as in an airplane moving under its own power on the ground.

Although the word is derived, ultimately, from a taxi or taxicab, it was derived immediately from a mostly flightless flight trainer called a "taxi."  Such "taxis" are attested as early as 1909.  By 1911, it was a verb, generally applied to any aircraft on the ground or water.

The motivation for calling the flightless trainer a "taxi," in the first place, is not obvious, but could be one of several possibilities. Perhaps because the schools were giving rides to students for a fee - like a taxicab?

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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