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 ?
"Back-seat driver? As far as he's concerned he's in the front seat, behind the wheel.
Not only does he write and star in his own sitcom - Not Going Out will begin its fourth series on BBC1 in the new year - and write and perform as a standalone, stand-up comic ( he's currently coming to the end of a seemingly never-ending tour) - but he's also a bit of a back-seat driver.
Should the need and subsequent development of critical technologies drive innovation or are financial concerns playing back-seat driver? This was the topic for this month's Perspectives question that was posed to the community.
But, Leader of the House of Commons, Jack Straw, insisted that Blair would not become a ''back-seat driver,'' stating that he was ''absolutely certain'' he would not meddle negatively or intrusively in the future of the party or government.
The line-up echoes that of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and the music, at fast tempo, has a lot of Blakey in it, with Tracey buoyant, the forceful back-seat driver.
Thephenomenal3Dmeans you're in the thick of it, whether you're a back-seat driver or, quite literally, getting your hands dirty under the hood.
However, the journal list is available for free on the producer's Web site at http://www.e-psyche.net/journals.html, and the database subset gave enough samples to ponder a little about the decisions and implications from the perspective of a back-seat driver who went for a test drive.
Eventually, when Linda awoke for one of her back-seat driver's night checks, I drew her attention to what was taking place behind us in the heavens.
We've never really left each other" Sarah, Duchess of York, above, on her ex-husband, Andrew, Duke of York "I'm a back-seat driver in life.
I am at best a back-seat driver. Mr B is almost always the designated chauffeur but, of course, a broken shoulder means he can't get behind the wheel.
Whether he's a back-seat driver or a sounding board for current boss Darren Wassall, you do wonder if there's a bit of hocus-pocus left in Redknapp's box of tricks.
Putting new meaning to the adage 'back-seat driver' is Jo Buck, a driving instructor who heads Britain's women riders' championship sponsored by the Racing Post Weekender.
The 'Driver Distraction' study, commissioned by esure car insurance revealed that 14 per cent of motorists have had an accident or near miss due to being distracted by a back-seat driver.
The poll found the top-five carguments to be: getting lost, back-seat driver behaviour, the music or radio station choice, relationship issues and temperature/air conditioning disagreements.
Which politician said in 1990: "I shan't be pulling the strings, but I shall make a very good back-seat driver."?