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straphanger

[strap-hang-er]
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noun
  1. a passenger who stands in a crowded bus or subway train and holds onto a strap or other support suspended from above.
  2. any user of such public transportation.

Origin of straphanger

First recorded in 1900–05; strap + hanger
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for straphanger

Historical Examples

  • Straphanger (in first-class compartment, to first-class passenger).

    Mr. Punch's Life in London

    Various


British Dictionary definitions for straphanger

straphanger

noun
  1. informal a passenger in a bus, train, etc, who has to travel standing, esp by holding on to a strap
Derived Formsstraphanging, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for straphanger

n.

also strap-hanger "bus or subway rider," 1905, from strap (n.) + hanger. In reference to the hanging straps in cars meant to be held on to by those without seats.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper