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 ?
After a few minutes, the front driver opens his or her eyes and provides the following feedback to the backseat driver: What was good about his or her technique?
I thought the Toyota BackSeat Driver was another great piece of work that really used mobile to deliver a real-time in-car experience, or 'Pain Squad' which uses gamification to actually treat kids with cancer.
The founder of Aramex, the global delivery company which was the first Arab firm to list on the NASDAQ, has insisted he won't be a "backseat driver" when he steps down as CEO later this year.
It's not clear, however, whether it will cancel out the sound of a backseat driver.
This 'backseat driver' metaphor is very useful in explaining the intertwined roles of both the Council and the Commission in European relations with Moldova, which have emerged despite the member states' general desire to maintain foreign policy as a strictly intergovernmental policy area.
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.
It's a new decade and a new chance to stop being a backseat driver on your career path and take the wheel to some new and exciting places.
The Backseat Driver: The backseat driver appears when you least expect him and is always a shock to drivers unused to his sporadic appearances.
The curriculum is part of MaineDOT's Backseat Driver Program, which launched in 2000 to educate fourth graders about the rules of the road.
The Backseat Driver: She didn't call the meeting, but she'll be damned if everyone doesn't follow her agenda.
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.
I try to curb my tendency to be a backseat driver but have been known to give a word or two of advice on occasion.