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According to the New Yorker Magazine, it was first used by the Saturday Evening Post in 1910 (referring to the New York version of the problem); the British word for it, blockage, was considered to be too civil-sounding; what word is it?

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Answer: jam

As in traffic jam, to describe automotive congestion. The British word was a holdover from horse-and-carriage days - and it didn't convey the proper sense of smoke and oil.

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