ride shotgun

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Probably arose in early-20th-century Western fiction and movies to describe an employee armed with a rifle or shotgun riding next to a stagecoach driver for protection.


ride shotgun (third-person singular simple present rides shotgun, present participle riding shotgun, simple past rode shotgun, past participle ridden shotgun)

  1. (idiomatic, slang) To ride in the front passenger seat of a vehicle, next to the driver.
    When both kids want to ride shotgun with Mom, they'll just have to take turns.
  2. (idiomatic, slang, figuratively) To accompany someone in order to assist and protect.
    He attended the meeting to ride shotgun for the sales team, in case anyone had a technical question.

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