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suburbitank

noun blending
an obnoxiously large sport-utility vehicle driven in suburban neighborhoods, often by families.
 
Suburbitank is a somewhat pejorative term coined by the Lawrence Police Department for the purpose of making fun of reckless drivers of large vehicles in the suburbs. The metaphorical equation of a car – namely, an SUV – with a military tank serves to communicate the imposing largeness of the vehicle and the aggressiveness of the driving. One could consider it a dysphemism for making large automobiles seem more obnoxious than they are.
Etymology : from a blend of suburban & tank, plus the linking vowel i. Suburban from Latin sub- meaning below + urbs meaning city + -an adjective ending. Tank from Portuguese estanque, from estancar meaning to stop the flow of, from Latin stanticare meaning to stand.
Source : “Our favorite part of the day is when people driving suburbitanks say, ‘I don’t know why I couldn’t stop on the ice, officer, I have four-wheel drive.’” (from a Twitter post by the Lawrence Police Department, 10/31/19)
Last modified: 11 December 2019


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