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riding shotgun

English translation: riding in the front passenger seat

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:riding shotgun
English translation:riding in the front passenger seat
Entered by: Yongmei Liu
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05:46 Nov 13, 2003
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: riding shotgun
I see this phrase quite often. Are people using it loosely? I mean the last and only time I rode shotgun was when my car broke down and my friend and I had to squeeze in the tow truck, which had a narrow seat in the middle. Private cars only have two seats in the front. What, they're straddled over the gear shifter?
Yongmei Liu
United States
Local time: 07:29
front seat
Explanation:
My friends and I use this all of the time. It means to ride in the front passenger seat.
Selected response from:

Daniel Mencher
United States
Local time: 10:29
Grading comment
Thanks all!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +11Yes, it´s used looselyChris Rowson
5 +6front seat
Daniel Mencher
4 +4It comes from when
DGK T-I


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +6
front seat


Explanation:
My friends and I use this all of the time. It means to ride in the front passenger seat.

Daniel Mencher
United States
Local time: 10:29
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 19
Grading comment
Thanks all!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxsarahl: so do we!
6 mins
  -> thanks

agree  Gayle Wallimann
34 mins
  -> thanks

agree  J. Leo
3 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  airmailrpl: -
5 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  RHELLER
6 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  NancyLynn
7 hrs
  -> thanks
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +11
Yes, it´s used loosely


Explanation:
Originally, as you probably know, it referred to the second man who rode next to the driver of stage-coaches in the American "Wild West", with both hands free for the shotgun to defend against the wild elements.

But modern figurative uses are many, such as in business, where it refers to someone who has a degree of freedom from precise responsibilities that enables him to deal with the unexpected. I have sometimes had the "shotgun" role, working alongside a project manager who was more tied down to the prescribed role.

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Note added at 2003-11-13 05:53:13 (GMT)
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Of course Dan´s answer - it´s the other front seat - is also a commoni usage.

Chris Rowson
Local time: 16:29
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 243

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marie Scarano
16 mins

agree  Gayle Wallimann
31 mins

agree  Mario Marcolin
2 hrs

agree  jerrie
3 hrs

agree  David Moore: Morning, Chris
3 hrs

agree  J. Leo
3 hrs

agree  Henrik Brameus
4 hrs

agree  airmailrpl: -
5 hrs

agree  RHELLER
6 hrs

agree  NancyLynn: Very educational thank you for the extra info :-)
7 hrs

agree  Refugio
10 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
It comes from when


Explanation:
a second person sat with the driver of a horsedrawn coach or wagon, to guard against theives or danger, carrying a shotgun (the type of firearm - like a rifle but smoothbore) for protection - eg: in the "wild west" of America. They might particularly sit up on the box with the driver, or in another "vantage point" on the vehicle. Your text uses the idea of being wedged in as an extra, into a precarious seeming position.

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Note added at 9 mins (2003-11-13 05:56:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Dan and Chris describe some modern uses of the image.

DGK T-I
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:29
PRO pts in pair: 401

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  airmailrpl: -
5 hrs

agree  RHELLER
6 hrs

agree  NancyLynn: Very educational thank you for the extra info :-)
7 hrs

agree  Christopher Crockett: Yes. Though a shotgun is like a rifle, only different. Smooth bore (lacking "rifling" in the barrel), but usually firing a shell full of pellets ("shot"), rather than a bullet. Unless you're firing a "deer slug", of course. But that's another story.
8 hrs
  -> absolutely - I wanted to give the asker an idea of what shotguns often look(ed) like,and it seemed a good way of putting it. Perhaps their forerunners used blunderbusses:-)
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