Whenever my friends and I rush out to the garage, one must yell “Shotgun!” or “Shottie” in order to claim ownership to the passenger front seat next to the driver. I asked my friend Kelsey why she was so accustomed to yelling this word out when she say the car. She told me:
“It’s back when like cars.. I mean buggies… the guy who sat in the front seat of the buggy.. there had to be someone holding a shot gun just incase they got ambushed or something. My grandparents told me that back in Texas.”
I have heard a few variations of this origin of the folk speech but most converge around the idea that whomever was sitting next to the diver, long ago, held the shotgun. How this term has held on past the ages of buggies and wagons shows its importance and hierarchical position of one sitting next to the driver.
Kelsey also refers to that seat as the “DJ seat” and whomever occupies the passenger seat controls the musical selection for the journey. Both examples point to the importance of the position and the aspect of the ‘right-hand man’ to the driver