Where Did the Saying “Take a Back Seat” Come From and What Does the Phrase Mean?

“To take a back seat” means that you have little or no influence in the decisions required to fulfill an objective, and has nothing to do with “back-seat driving.”

It comes from the parliamentary system of government, where the leaders of all parties, those who make and debate the critical decisions, are seated on the front benches of the House.

Those who follow the party line with no input in these matters, other than a vote, take a back seat.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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