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 ?
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.
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.
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.
I don't want to be young again" actress Angelina Jolie, below "Ridiculous" David Cameron's opinion of the cinema ban of the Lord's Prayer advert "Having crashed the car it is difficult to do that" broadcaster Jim Naughtie to former Labour leader Ed Miliband who said he was not going to be Jeremy Corbyn's back-seat driver "He looks every inch an Archbishop, and the content of his speeches is so far up the Richter scale of inanity that any lingering doubts about his archiepiscopal credentials must be immediately dispelled" the Rev Peter Mullen, retired City priest attacks the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby who said he doubted the existence of God after the Paris massacre WRITE Letters Editor Media Wales Ltd, Six Park Street, Cardiff CF10 1XR e-mail readers@walesonline.
In the driverless car, does the back-seat driver sit in the front?
My dad is a terrible back-seat driver who does things like tapping the gear stick when he thinks you should be changing gear.
The deliberate use of the term "route map" will spark accusations, made by John Major against Margaret Thatcher, that Mr Blair intends to be a back-seat driver when he quits No.
One of the greatest aids to road safety is the back-seat driver, including even the mother-in-law.
Engvall practices what's increasingly called "blue collar comedy," which means comedy for the rest of us - jokes about the wife being a back-seat driver, or the boy ogling a well-endowed woman or the three things that make a man tick: eating, sleeping and sex.
This time it's the Grand National, last time it was the BHB's decision to abandon the Cheltenham Festival-what a brilliant back-seat driver he is
But it has been ordered to be a back-seat driver from now on.