"Travelin' shotgun"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 1 03:53:53 UTC 2006

FWIW, my niece lives in Kingston, adjacent to Forty Fort and across
the Susquehanna from Wilkes-Barre. In case anyone cares, the locals
say both "Wilkes-Barry" and "Wilkes-Barruh." In another instance of an
intra-familial dialect split, my father-in-law, my wife, and her
siblings use the former, whereas my mother-in-law and her siblings use
the latter. All of them were born in Wilkes-Barre and reared in


On 11/30/06, Douglas G. Wilson <douglas at nb.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
> Subject:      Re: "Travelin' shotgun"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >Maybe this shift is a result of the death of the horse opera, when
> >everyone knew what the literal meaning of "ride shotgun" was. I asked
> >my seventeen-year-old niece what it meant to "ride shotgun" and she
> >unhesitatingly replied that it means to go riding with one's best
> >friends.
> A 13-year-old Pittsburgh-area informant says "ride shotgun" = "ride in the
> seat next to the driver". She says she has heard this from peers as well as
> older folks; she does not recall encountering the above-mentioned new
> 'improved' sense.  It was not immediately obvious to her why the word
> "shotgun" should be used for the front passenger seat.
> -- Doug Wilson
> --
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
> Version: 7.1.409 / Virus Database: 268.15.2/560 - Release Date: 11/30/2006
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Sam Clemens

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list