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TAXI LANGUAGE: What is a taxi driver’s ‘HICKORY’?



In a nod to the city's rich history and folklore, London taxi drivers have been using the term ‘Hickory’ to refer to their meter, a connection derived from the nursery rhyme ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’.

The term ‘Hickory’ is believed to have originated from the rhyming wordplay as the meter in a taxi ‘clocks’ the distance and price of a journey.

London's iconic black cabs have long been a symbol of the city, and many of their drivers originated from communities that used slang languages like Cockney Rhyming.


While to the untrained ear, a conversation among taxi drivers discussing a 'Hickory' might sound perplexing, for the drivers themselves, it's anything but.

As languages like Cockney Rhyming fades out of communities, terms like ‘Hickory’ still used in the taxi industry serve as a reminder of the rich cultural tapestry that has shaped the city over centuries. London's black cab drivers, with their knowledge of the city's history, landmarks, and a unique set of phrases of their own, remain an integral part of the urban experience.


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