Game/Saying – United States

--Informant Info--
Nationality:
Age: 18
Occupation: Student
Residence: La Habra, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: April 2007
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Gujurati

Shotgun (riding shotgun)

Basically shotgun works like this, while in a group, if someone wants to sit in the front seat they would yell out shotgun. Whoever says it first gets to sit there. Those are the simple rules of shotgun. There are many minor rules that come into play while doing this. First of all, the driver and person calling shotgun should be able to see the car, or be in the vicinity of it so they can see it. Another main rule is that shotgun should be called loud enough so everyone in the group can here it.

I interviewed my really good friend about the origins of the shotgun rule and his knowledge about it. Since he has a car we rely on him heavily with our transportation (because we are car-less). He told me that the history of it started way back in the early century when people would sit next to the driver in stagecoaches. Those people would have real shot guns, hence the name Shotgun. He said that his friend told him back in 9th grade about this.

I have witnessed many shotguns before. Every time we go out as a group someone or the other will call shotgun. Most of the time there are mutual shotguns, in kindness. Recently though I introduced a new rule which I learned while I was back home in Seattle. This rule is that when someone calls shotgun, anyone can negate it by saying blitz and running to the seat. At first my friends thought I was making it up but soon enough I found a wikipedia article and proved it to them. Since then we have reinstated that rule and used to often. It gives it new life to the game.

Aadhar, my friend, also told me that this game is played in many places around the world. He said that his family friends in Canada and even Australia have heard of this game. He thinks that many English speaking countries have picked up on this.