You’d best take a taxi.

  1. Is the phrase in bold contracted form of had best OR would best?
  2. Is it equal to had better/would rather?
  3. Is it archaic?
  1. had best
  2. It is not linked to ‘would rather’ at all, which indicates how the listener feels rather than what the speaker advises.
    It is very similar to ‘had better’, with only the degree of the superlative term changing slightly.
  3. Not in my opinion.

Bev, could you say it for certain that "You had best take a taxi’ is a usage formal in the English language?


Perhaps recondite. But not incongruous.