backseat driver

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backseat driver

1. A passenger in a vehicle (not necessarily in the backseat) who attempts to instruct the driver or criticize their driving skills. John quickly became annoyed at Mary's tendency to become a backseat driver whenever he drove her somewhere, so he just began to let her drive.
2. By extension, someone who tries to establish and maintain control over every situation. Primarily heard in US. Although Mary was capable of completing the project on her own, John couldn't stop himself from being a backseat driver and telling her what to do.
See also: backseat, driver

backseat driver

Fig. an annoying passenger who tells the driver how to drive; someone who tells others how to do things. I don't need any backseat driver on this project. Stop pestering me with all your advice. Nobody likes a backseat driver!
See also: backseat, driver

backseat driver

A passenger who gives unwanted and/or unneeded directions to the driver; also, a person who interferes in affairs without having knowledge, responsibility, or authority for doing so. For example, Aunt Mary drives us all crazy with her instructions; she's an incurable backseat driver. This term originated in the United States in the 1920s, when it was first used for a passenger legitimately directing a chauffeur, and it was quickly transferred to figurative use. Also see the synonym Monday-morning quarterback and the antonym take a back seat.
See also: backseat, driver

a back-seat driver

COMMON
1. If you call a passenger in a car a back-seat driver, you mean that they keep telling the driver what to do. My mother is a terrible back-seat driver, especially when my sister is at the wheel.
2. If you call someone, especially a politician, a back-seat driver, you mean that they are trying to influence or control a situation that should be controlled by someone else. They accused the former prime minister of being a backseat driver. Note: This expression is used to show disapproval.
See also: driver

a back-seat driver

1 a passenger in a vehicle who constantly gives the driver unwanted advice on how to drive. 2 someone who lectures and criticizes the person actually in control of something.
See also: driver

a ˌback-seat ˈdriver

(disapproving)
1 a passenger in a vehicle who keeps giving advice to the driver about how he or she should drive
2 a person who wants to be in control of something that is not really their responsibility: There are too many back-seat drivers in this department. This is my project and I’m the one who’s in charge!
See also: driver

backseat driver

n. an annoying passenger who tells the driver how to drive; someone who tells others how to do things. I don’t need any backseat driver on this project.
See also: backseat, driver

backseat driver

A passenger who gives unasked-for and usually unwanted advice to the driver of a vehicle; by extension, anyone who interferes without having real responsibility or authority. The term originated in the United States during the 1920s, when many automobiles were chauffeur-driven and their passengers sat in the backseat, often quite legitimately telling the chauffeur where to go. Today the passenger’s location is irrelevant, the term being principally figurative. It has largely replaced the older armchair general. See also Monday-morning quarterback and the very different take a backseat.
See also: backseat, driver
References in periodicals archive ?
The reference to her as the "back seat driver" will be particularly wounding to Mr Hague.
BACK SEAT DRIVER Mirror Sport's Byron Young picked up some tips from world champion Lewis Hamilton yesterday Jenson Button looks in pole position to win next week's British Grand Prix - and no one will be happier than fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton
APRIL 'Brickie's Mate'; JUNE 'Legover'; JULY 'A Good Licking'; SEPTEMBER 'Hot to Trot'; DECEMBER 'Born to Shop'; MARCH 'Back Seat Driver'
In referring to his "semi-retirement" the gossips said he would remain in charge as a back seat driver or make a leadership comeback.
DPrivilege Insurance did a survey and discovered any number of reasons that send motorists mad on a road trip, from bad directions to back seat drivers, other people's driving and forgetting something and having to turn back to get it.
For their part, three out of five children accused their parents of being annoying "back seat drivers".
It is for this reason that I get irritated with 'back seat drivers' or 'side seat' ones since.
As it took me several attempts to pass my test, I'm probably more sensitive than most to the comments back seat drivers choose to share with me as I'm chauffeuring them around.
Don't let Blairite diehards be your back seat drivers" - Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite trade union, issues a warning to Ed Miliband.
Two thirds (66%) of British motorists have been victims of unwanted attention from self-appointed back seat drivers, and almost 1 in 4 (24%) have been in an accident whilst dealing with the distractions of other passengers.
Back seat drivers too have benefited as the rear seatbacks now recline.
The touch-screen controls are easily operated for climate control, navigational needs and music systems and any back seat drivers can be kept quiet with their very own individual multi-media systems.
Back seat drivers too have bene-fitted in the new car as the rear seatbacks now recline.
Three in five motorists are being driven to distraction by nuisance passengers such as naughty children, back seat drivers and nagging mothers-in-law, a survey said this week.
It's official: back seat drivers are more of a hindrance than a help.