Everything You’d Ever Want to Know:
How many car trips have begun with that memorable word? The correct answer is undoubtedly “countless” or “how many stars are in the sky?”
This article concerns all things riding shotgun: definition, history, origin, rights, privileges, duties and rules.
Just so there’s no disputes about the definition of ‘shotgun’, here’s a good one:
The term “Shotgun” refers to the front passenger seat of an automobile. “Calling Shotgun” is the act of claiming the position of Shotgun for one’s self. As this position is the most coveted of all positions when riding in a car, the following list of rules has been created to ensure that Shotgun can be acquired in a fair and equitable manner by any passenger of an automobile.
For readers wanting a second opinion, here’s the Wikipedia version
To ride shotgun is to sit in the front passenger seat when riding a car or other vehicle, a phrase commonly heard in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Due to the influence of American popular culture it is also heard in several European countries such as Iceland, Ireland, Denmark and the United Kingdom, as well as other countries with large English-speaking populations such as South Africa and Israel.
Where did the term “riding shotgun” originate?
The first known reference to “riding shotgun” in print occurred in Western pulp fiction in the March 27, 1921 issue of the Washington Post’s “Magazine of Fiction,” in a story entitled “The Fighting Fool” by Dane Coolidge. It was used to refer to riding as an armed guard in the front of a stagecoach, next to the driver (this would usually have been on the left, as stage drivers traditionally sat on the right, near the brake).
Historians have been unable to find a use of the term “riding shotgun” in the actual time of the Old West, when the terminology actually used was riding as “shotgun messenger.” The use of the phrase in print to refer to automobiles occurred in 1954 simultaneously with the TV series Gunsmoke, which became extremely popular, and used the terminology of riding shotgun nearly weekly.
There are many local variations of the rules below. But the basic rules, like truth, beauty and hope, always remain the same. It’s good to get the ground and local rules in place before any important–or incidental–trip.
of Calling Shotgun
1) The first person to yell “SHOTGUN” gets to ride in the front seat.
Read the rest of “Riding Shotgun: Rules, History, Duties of Riding Shotgun” at DBKP.com
* Riding Shotgun: Rules, History, Duties of Riding Shotgun
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