Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Daily Hump: Hey Taxi!

Today we're going to find the connection between taxicabs and high school geometry.

Unbeknownst to many a New Yorker the word taxi is actually a shortened form of taximeter cab, which is a vehicle first introduced in London in 1907. Basically, a taxi is defined as a car-for-hire that charges based on a taximeter rate, the taximeter being an "automatic meter to record the distance and fare" invented in Germany in the late 19th century. Taximeter is simply tax + meter, tax coming from the Latin taxare meaning, among other things, to "evaluate, estimate, assess, handle."

Taxare is likely a frequentative form of the Latin tangere, meaning "to touch." And from tangere we get our English word tangent which describes a straight line that touches a curve at a single point where the curve's derivative equals the slope of the line.

tax [Online Etymology Dictionary]
taxi [Online Etymology Dictionary]
tangent [Wikipedia]

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:: posted by David, 9:26 AM


Found this for you! "Hey Taxi...."
Blogger Loocite, at 10:15 AM  

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