Shotgun Wedding

Meaning

What does Shotgun Wedding mean?

Shotgun Wedding, also known as Shotgun Marriage, is a popular slang expression for marriages that are intended to cover up unintended pregnancies.

As the name suggests, it involves a father-in-law that Loads Shotgun with Malicious Intent.

Origin

What's the origin of Shotgun Wedding?

Although the exact origin of the expression is not known, it was most certainly inspired by the occurrence of weddings held at gunpoint.

Matrimonies of such caliber were recorded as early as 1872, published in an article in The Cincinnati Enquirer, under the title “Pistol Persuasion”.

“Shotgun wedding” first appeared in a similar article in The Telegraph on August 21st, 1883, titled “A Shotgun Wedding”.

Spread & Usage

How did Shotgun Wedding spread?

“Shotgun wedding” spread rapidly in the end of the 19th century, as shown by the inclusion of the expression in the 59th Volume of “The Sewanee Review”, published in 1892.

The turn of the century has produced even more examples for the phrase appearing in books and magazines.

“Shotgun wedding” was first defined on Urban Dictionary on March 31st, 2003, with numerous other entries following in the subsequent years.

The popularity of the expression was boosted in 2021, as the movie titled “Shotgun Wedding” was announced to premier in 2022.

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