Tailgate, to

Subscribe to Idioms Online on YouTube

Privacy | Contact

Subscribe to Idioms Online on YouTube

Also: Ride someone's bumper

Meaning of Idiom 'Tailgate'

To tailgate means to drive dangerously close behind another car or vehicle on the road. 1,2

Usage

When a driver is said to be tailgating, the implication is often that they are doing so deliberatly and carelessly. 1

Someone who tailgates is a tailgater.

Examples:

"My nerves are shot. This fellow tailgated me all the way to work and the traffic was too heavy to change lanes."

"If there is one thing I hate it's a tailgater!"

"I wish the police would give out more tickets for tailgating. It's more dangerous than speeding."

"This car has been riding my bumper for miles."

Origin

Used since at least the 1970's.

Although the term tailgate, today, almost always refers to the hinged gate at the back of a pickup truck, it has been used to refer other vehicles with back gates which open into cargo or passenger compartments, such as station wagons, hatchbacks, vans, and utility vehicles.

A bumper is a horizontal bar fixed to the back of a vehicle, intended to reduce damage when the back of the vehicle is struck by another.

Sources
1. Brenner, Gail Abel. Webster's New World American Idioms Handbook. Wiley, 2003.

More Automotive Idioms
Stop On A Dime
Burn Rubber (to)

More Automotive Idioms

More Vehicle Related Idioms
Stop On A Dime

More Vehicle Related Idioms Idioms

This page contains one or more affiliate links. See full affiliate disclosure.

© 2018 by IdiomsOnline.