riding shotgun

R - S

riding shotgun
also, sitting shotgun


  • to provide active aid to someone
  • to provide an armed response or protection
  • to be guarding something (usually vehicles) by being present up-front
  • travel as a guard next to the driver of a vehicle.
  • ride in the front passenger seat of a vehicle

Example Sentences

  1. This politician is a sitting shotgun for his brother’s company. It is sad to see that he is using his political influence for his own purposes.
  2. I am a sitting shotgun for my sister’s gold ornaments until she comes back from the trip.
  3. Armed forces have begun riding shotgun on the car to guard terrified drivers and travelers.
  4. Liam got in the back seat, and Emma rode shotgun.
  5. My brother, Mark, was riding shotgun with his nose in a book, with my longtime best friend David, in the back.
  6. I was riding shotgun, with my older son driving and my younger son wasting his time on some video game in the backseat.
  7. Noah was at the wheel, and Amey was riding shotgun with her daughter on her lap.


The phrase originates as “riding shotgun” in the early 1900’s from the American west. A person armed with a shotgun (he would also be called the shotgun) would travel alongside coaches for short or long distances in order to be able to ward off any Indians or bandits that may attack and rob the occupants. In the later years when automobiles became popular, the shotgun would sit beside the driver doing the same thing. The trade was more popular for vehicles carrying either bullion or cash and hence would need the added security. So if the shotgun was not present then it would mean that there is nothing of value being transported, it would just be passengers. Recently the term is used in the gaming world.

The first known printed record 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.


  • sitting shotgun

Share your opinions2 Opinions

Whoever said it is used in the gaming world probably plays halo and races to shotgun in the warthog.

‒ Anonymous April 26, 2021

Riding shotgun was used to define the guard who drives along with a stagecoach driver, typically equipped with a gun to ward off outlaws or Native American protesters. In everyday use, it signifies the act of sitting together with the driver in a running vehicle. The expression has been used figuratively to mean giving actual or figurative support or aid to someone in a situation.

‒ George April 7, 2021

What's on your mind?