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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Other characteristics of a backseat driver -- which could also be likely to cause a near-miss -- include advising on which lane the car should be in, and telling the driver when to move at the traffic lights.
Insisting on giving directions is just one of the signs you may be a backseat driver
And one in 20 parents say their child is already a backseat driver.
He told me: "That's not just being a backseat driver. That's stretching your legs over the driver's seat to work the pedals."
IT can't be easy having a Formula 1 star as a backseat driver when you're behind the wheel.
"No, I will not be a backseat driver," he told delegates at the Arabian Business Forum at Dubai's swish Armani Hotel yesterday.
Like Thatcher before him, he is trying to be a backseat driver of his former party, which is definitely a retrograde step for the Labour Party.
I choose to view it more as being a driver's aide than a backseat driver. I don't see how anyone can look at my comments, such as "We need to be in the left lane," "That stoplight up ahead is red," or "Are we this close to that car's bumper because you like the smell of exhaust fumes?" as anything other than constructive and helpful.
Robert, like many sons-in-law, hated to have to drive his mother-in-law home because he felt that she was a backseat driver of the worst sort.
Kenneth Tynan, whose field was theater, put it aptly enough in describing the critic as a backseat driver facing the wrong way.
Partners are blamed as the worst culprits criticising from the backseat, with half of us branding their other half a backseat driver.
IN THE BBC1 comedy Roger Roger, Robert Daws, 40, plays Sam the harassed owner of a cab firm and, while the actor enjoys riding in a taxi, he admits he is a bit of a backseat driver ...