Concept

Riding shotgun

Summary
"Riding shotgun" was a phrase used to describe the bodyguard who rides alongside a stagecoach driver, typically armed with a break-action shotgun, called a coach gun, to ward off bandits or hostile Native Americans. In modern use, it refers to the practice of sitting alongside the driver in a moving vehicle. The coining of this phrase dates to 1905 at the latest. Etymology The expression "riding shotgun" is derived from "shotgun messenger", a colloquial term for "express messenger", when stagecoach travel was popular during the American Wild West and the Colonial period in Australia. The person rode alongside the driver. The first known use of the phrase "riding shotgun" was in the 1905 novel The Sunset Trail by Alfred Henry Lewis. Wyatt and Morgan Earp were in the service of The Express Company. They went often as guards—"riding shotgun," it was called—when the stage bore unusual treasure. It was later used in print and especially film depictio
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