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Backseat drivers

Posted by R. Berg on May 29, 2001

In Reply to: Phrases for "backseat driver" posted by phrases for backseat driver on May 29, 2001

: : : : : Has anyone got any clever terms or phrases for someone who doesn't mind their own business (the "backseat driver" syndrome)? I have a Jewish friend who uses the term "butt-in-skee" ("Buttinsky"), but I think it's pretty ethnic sounding. Thanks. -Patty

: : : : So you want we should all stop with the ethnic phrases, yet?

: : : : "Buttinsky" is actually fairly common. I've seen a Briticism in print, "Nosey Parker" (sp.?). But that one has the similar drawback of being associated with a particular ethnicity: Anglo-Saxon whiteness. Any phrase you can name will have come from some language or other and will therefore belong to some ethnic group. Well, ethnic, shmethnic, as long as we're communicating!

: : : I heard 'sticky beak' in an Australian soap opera. From the context it appeared to be an Oz version of nosey parker.
: : : Gary

: : My husband calls me "Gladys Kravitz" when I peer out the window at the neighbors. (I can't help it, they're fascinating.) Gladys was the nosy next-door-neighbor on "Bewitched," an old TV series.

: The phrase "backseat driver" implies more activity than someone who looks out windows. I'm interested in phrases about people who insist in involving themselves in others' business, uninvited. - Patty

There's "kibitzer," but that would surely flunk the (minority) ethnicity test. Let's face it, Yiddish is full of pithy expressions, some of which have entered American English. Too bad "someone who reads over your shoulder, out loud, and gives you the crossword-puzzle answers" is so awkward. --rb