Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who grips a hanging strap or similar device for support while riding as a passenger on a bus or subway.
  • n. One who uses public transportation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who travels using public transportation (often standing up and holding on to a strap).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a standing subway or bus passenger who grips a hanging strap for support
  • n. a commuter who uses public transportation

Etymologies

strap +‎ hanger (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The video, which went viral Monday, was captured by a straphanger Friday at the 181st Street Station in Washington Heights.

    Long Ride at 181st Street

  • To make a 30-day pass more cost-effective than a pay-per-ride card, a straphanger now needs to use it at least 50 times a month.

    Higher Fares, Tolls Kick In

  • This situation is clearly less than ideal for elected officials, terrible for a city's environmental footprint, and worst of all for the everyday straphanger or bus rider who is already struggling to make ends meet.

    David Abrutyn: How A Name Can Help Transit's Game

  • Even there's one lonesome straphanger or passed-out reveler riding home at 3 in the morning, the subway's capacity expenses are basically unchanged; a discounted off-peak fare only makes the subway more competitive with taxis and cars.

    Alex Pasternack: Why New York Subway Chief's Congestion Pricing Idea Makes Cents

  • The confrontation, between Sgt. Kevin Hayes and Daily News reporter Wil Cruz, occurred on Nov. 21, just hours after a crazed straphanger fatally knifed a stranger aboard a midtown D train.

    Len Levitt: An Ugly NYPD-Media Confrontation

  • New York City straphanger Stella Lombardi, on accused bioterrorists Larry Wayne Harris and William Leavitt, responding to rumors that they'd been planning to release a toxic bomb in the city's subway system "" If I don't work hard, I will go to hell, and we already have Stalin and Lenin very well placed there, so they may torture me. ''

    Perspectives

  • UPTOWN -- As we go around a corner, a straphanger t ...

    Girl Grapplers Tussle in Pit Wearing Big Brown Outfits and Thongs

  • UPTOWN -- As we go around a corner, a straphanger tries out his newest sport: accordian bus turntable surfing.

    Archive 2004-12-01

  • Underground Railway when a lady complained that a straphanger was standing on her foot.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 158, March 3rd, 1920

  • And one straphanger spoke for thousands when he described his L train commute as, "a nightmare from hell."

    Gothamist

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Comments

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  • I suspect this is an East coast term. I haven't heard this in Western Canada.

    July 30, 2013