To hail a taxi / to beckon a taxi

sevillista

Senior Member
Spain/Spanish
If I´m not mistaken, when you wave to get a taxi, you´re hailing a taxi, right? But "to beckon" is to move your hand in order to catch sb´s eye so I was wondering if I could use this verb with taxis too, for instance:

that businessman is hailing a taxi
that businessman is beckoning a taxi


Are both sentences right? Thank you in advance.
 
  • steemic

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    If I´m not mistaken, when you wave to get a taxi, you´re hailing a taxi, right? But "to beckon" is to move your hand in order to catch sb´s eye so I was wondering if I could use this verb with taxis too, for instance:

    that businessman is hailing a taxi
    that businessman is beckoning a taxi


    Are both sentences right? Thank you in advance.
    I can see the logic you were following but unfortunately you cannot say beckon a taxi in English.
    However you can: Hail a taxi; Flag a taxi; Wave down a taxi
     

    FromPA

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "Beckon" is a dated word that you will only see in very old novels (or badly written romance novels with the meaning of to lure or entice).
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    When (or if) you use "beckon", you "beckon to someone"—it's intransitive. Yes, old novels.
     

    caelum

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    "Beckon" is a dated word that you will only see in very old novels (or badly written romance novels with the meaning of to lure or entice).
    I agree with this completely. It is an outdated word usually used humorously to refer to the olden days, or to try to be sexy/enticing. A form of this word is used more frequently in the expression to be at someone's beck and call.
     

    SydLexia

    Senior Member
    UK English
    "Beckon" is a dated word that you will only see in very old novels (or badly written romance novels with the meaning of to lure or entice).
    Hmmm. The phrase "beckoned him over" < --- > appears to appear more often that that...

    I agree that it doesn't work for taxis.

    syd


    Edited to remove Spanish when thread was moved to English Only.
    Cagey, moderator
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    levmac

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hmmm. The phrase "beckoned him over" (le indicó que se acercara) appears to appear more often that that...

    I agree that it doesn't work for taxis.

    syd
    I agree with this in terms of both the use and the meaning. "Beckoning a cab [over]" would sound funny to me more because it sounds like, "Hello Mr Taxi, come over here!" rather than because the verb is archaic.

    If you look beckon up on Google News, you find plenty of examples, usually with the idea that something attractive on the horizon "(Sydney beckoned").

    Beckon over returns 2.5m results on Google. One example from the news:he caught the eye of a fearsome looking Gendarme, who beckoned him over to his van.
     
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