, young and often self-employed, he drives his delivery van like a maniac
around city streets to meet his delivery deadlines, ruthlessly cutting up other drivers to get ahead and frequently risking accidents, the 'White Van Man' is a common species on the roads here in the UK
(and probably in many other countries as well). Most often viewed as a mobile thug
, or as an unruly road hog
hunched behind the wheel of his rusty white charger, White Van Man has a reputation for heckling other road users for incompetent
driving, or hesitation
of any sort, both of which are usually met with wild gesticulations twinned with a burst of language that'd make a sailor
The term was coined in 1997 by renowned social commentator, BBC Radio 2 DJ and late co-conspirator on Game For A Laugh, Sarah Kennedy . It has since 'offiicially' entered the language after gaining a place in the Collins Concise Dictionary and the Oxford Compact English Dictionary, and has even ventured into the realms of academia after the Social Issues Research Centre published a paper entitled 'White Van Man. Demon or Diamond Geezer?'
I had the misfortune of coming across a White Van Man during my driving test. He was parked on my side of the road, facing me as I drove towards him. About 2 seconds before I came level with his van, he pulled away, cutting right across in front of me and forcing me to jam on the brakes to avoid a collision - not good for your nerves, which are especially fragile during a test.