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Monday, 23 July 2007

Phrase of the Day 123: 'road rage'

"Road rage"


definition: aggressively argumentative, and sometimes violent, behaviour by drivers when annoyed by other road users' actions.

origin: appears to have been coined by a Los Angeles Times' writer in 1984 when reporting the story of a truck driver who shot a car driver who cut him up. The term caught on quickly and this was followed by numerous citations in print during the 1980s. For example, this from the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, 1988:

"A fit of 'road rage' has landed a man in jail, accused of shooting a woman passenger who's [sic] car had 'cut him off' on the highway."

This stayed in America for several years before migrating elsewhere. It wasn't seen in the UK, or at least it wasn't reported using the 'road rage' term, until the 1990s.

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