from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The back on an offensive team who lines up farthest from the line of scrimmage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A line of motor vehicles caught up in traffic congestion; a traffic jam

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

  • noun (American football) the person who plays tailback
  • noun (American football) the position of the offensive back on a football team who lines up farthest from the line of scrimmage


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • "Piping takes a vast amount of mental time, and some occupations are better for this than others: policemen used to say traffic duty was just grand for the purpose. Indeed a famous Hebridean piper/policeman banished to a busy city junction because he hadn't arrested anybody for years ('Well,' he said, 'how would you like to be arrested?') used to produce spectacular tailbacks on a Saturday afternoon."

    —William Donaldson, Pipers: A Guide to the Players and Music of the Highland Bagpipe (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2005), 2

    July 27, 2008

  • "A man in Germany discovered the dangers of driving an open-top car when an envelope containing 23,000 euros (£20,600) blew off the back seat.


    Police closed the road in both directions for half an hour to search for the missing money. All but 3,000 euros was recovered.


    The motorway closure caused long tailbacks in both directions."

    - German motorway strewn with notes, BBC website, 15 May 2009.

    May 15, 2009