riding shotgun

Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Sun Apr 11 16:37:36 UTC 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bethany K. Dumas" <dumasb at UTKUX.UTCC.UTK.EDU>

> I have known the expression most of my life (se texas) - I wonder if it
> derives from wagon days, when the non-driver (of the horses) generally
> carried a shotgun.

There is little evidence that I could find that the term goes back to the
West in the late 1800's.  They called them "shotgun messengers" and such,
but no "rinding shotgun."

My name is on the current article over at Straight Dope
but it was written mostly by Dex.  He(Dex) remembered the phrase from the
1939 movie "Stagecoach" and perhaps that brought it into it's modern use.  I
don't think it existed before that.  I'm guessing that the generation of
people in their teens who first saw _Stagecoach_ on the tv MAY have
influenced its use.

Sam Clements

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