Slang dictionary

ridin’ shotty

or riding shotty or riding shotgun or shotgun [rahy-ding shot-ee]

What does riding shotty mean?

The expression riding shotty is another way of saying riding shotgun, or sitting in the passenger seat in a car up front next to the driver.

Related words

American muscle, 🏎️ Racing Car emoji, rat rod, digital dash, R32, brake check, Free Bird, trill, Jesus take the wheel

Where does ridin’ shotty come from?

The Spokesman-Review

The expression riding shotgun is said to come from stagecoaches in the 19th Century American Wild West. Stagecoach services would hire someone to sit beside the driver with a shotgun to ward off hostilities.


Printed uses of riding shotgun were seen in the early 1900s. Riding shotgun meant you were acting as a protector but, by the 1950s, it just meant riding in the seat next to the driver—no guns required.

Riding shotgun was shortened to ridin’ shotty in by the 1990s. It appeared in several hip-hop tracks in 1999, including “The Fabulous Ones” by Blackalicious.

In 2018, English musician George Ezra topped the charts with his hit single “Shotgun,” which featured the feel-good chorus: “I’ll be ridin’ shotgun underneath the hot sun / Feelin’ like a someone.”

Examples of ridin’ shotty

And as you start to step into bigger and bigger ideas…fear will be there, riding shotty.
Maxie McCoy, You're Not Lost, 2018
I hate how in Maps when you first hit start directions Siri throws some shit at you like “head southeast” like I got fucking Sacagawea riding shotgun
@Oliver_Hanley, October, 2018

Who uses ridin’ shotty?

If you have someone riding shotty with you, it’s usually a sign of solidarity, going back to the phrases “protector” days.


Sitting next to the driver is considered a prized position. It’s common to give it to the most respected or elderly person in the group—or whoever calls shotgun first. It’s a folk tradition for people to call shotgun to claim the seat, typically when the car is in sight.

Just Added

Earth Day, yassification, ♈ Aries Emoji, Autism Acceptance Month, Autism Awareness Month


This is not meant to be a formal definition of ridin’ shotty like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of ridin’ shotty that will help our users expand their word mastery.