I've trying to specify the "body" language we use while stuck in traffic. I'm hoping for a word ending in -al.

At work we use professional body language, at home we use social body language, while stuck in traffic we use _______ body language.

At first I thought "automotive" or "vehicular." I think this conveys a sense of being in a car, but without the context of being on the road with other cars, jostling for position. To convey the interactive component, I thought maybe "vehiculo-social" but it's a bit contrived, and still leaves out that we are moving slowly on a crowded road rather than zipping down the freeway doing 80mph. "Traffical" just sounds silly.

So is there a word for this? Am I stuck with "vehicular"?

  • Can you use jockeying body language? – Yosef Baskin Mar 14 '17 at 14:26
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    Technically I guess I should wait awhile to make sure nobody comes up with an answer, but I'm pretty certain there is no word for this. You could invent one, if it is important enough and you're writing the kind of document where it is appropriate to invent words. It might be helpful to know what body language this is exactly - by which I mean, is there really a set of body language we consistently use in traffic jams and consistently don't use outside of traffic jams? Or is the body language you're thinking of something that exists in other situations, and could thus involve different words? – Oosaka Mar 14 '17 at 14:36
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    I don't think there is unique body language for being in a car in traffic. Body language reflects subconscious things that relate to emotional states. People react to different aspects of traffic and react in different ways. For example, body language could reflect stress or aggression. You would do better to look for a word that reflects the specifics of the situation and the person's reaction to it. – fixer1234 Mar 14 '17 at 20:00
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    The usage 'body language" in any of these situations as assumed by you seems wrong. e.g. there is no such thing as "I use professional body language". I have seen body language being used in contexts that denote a frame of mind. e.g. "he seemed to be very angry from his body language" or "your body language conveys whether you are interested in what the other person is saying" etc. Hope this helps. – Sanjeev Mar 15 '17 at 8:08
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    I wonder if you really mean body language - a driver's body language is going to reflect their mood and attitude rather than whether they're driving. Think of gritted teeth and clenched fists while stuck in traffic on the way to an appointment, compared to someone on the same queue who's not in a hurry. I would say there's a set of gestures associated with driving – Chris H Mar 15 '17 at 8:24

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