The Taxi, the Cab – a Difference of Words
Is there any real difference between a taxi and a cab? Well, if you stay in Delhi or another metro, then for you the difference is in the image that you make in mind. The word ‘cab’ will create the image of a white or aqua/green sedan, while for taxi the first image is that dated car in black and yellow. However, to get the facts correct, there isn’t any difference. In fact, all radio cabs have got a glow light that reads ‘taxi’ on their rooftop.
The earliest form of horse-drawn vehicle available for hire was called a ‘cab’ (short for ‘cabriolet’). The name altered when cab firms upgraded to motorized vehicles, fitted with a ‘taximeter’ (got its name as the UK government levied a small tax on distance travelled by each taxi), which measured how far you had gone. These were called ‘taxis’. Nowadays either word is used. In the UK, the word ‘taxi’ is used for the ones that run on diesel engines with a high roof that has a rack to accommodate baggage. These are also known as black cabs or black taxis. These taxis are a rarity now. The term ‘minicab’ there is used for standard passenger saloon cars that are available for hire and are now popular.