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stool pigeon

A decoy or informer, especially a police spy. For example, Watch out for Doug; I'm sure he's a stool pigeon for the supervisor. This term alludes to a bird tied to a stool or similar perch in order to attract other birds, which will then be shot. However, one writer believes that stool is a variant for stale or stall, both nouns used for a decoy bird before 1500 or so. [c. 1820]
See also: pigeon, stool

stool (pigeon)

and stoolie (ˈstul ˈpɪdʒən and ˈstuli)
n. an informer. (Originally underworld.) Some stool pigeon spilled the works to the boys in blue. I’m no stoolie!
See also: pigeon, stool


References in periodicals archive ?
In I The Jury, he executes the villain, but in My Gun Is Quick, he passes judgment on a police stoolie, whose life he spares.
His biggest stab at movies, The Stoolie, sank without trace.
Our stoolie on the inside tells us that even that audience thought Tyson's actions were criminal.
It makes it much easier to direct what should be taught, to the point of transforming children into environmental stoolies in the name of "saving the world.
Luckily, or not, he then forgot, or wiser minds prevailed, I don't know, and his ashes were packaged up for the obligatory memorial service--probably more than one--so the mayor and his council, all the lackeys, flunkies, toadies and stoolies caught up in a shit-spotted cascade down those marble steps and into the astonished street is an event that exists first in my imagination and now in yours.
There are such things as rats and stoolies, and nobody wants them in any walk of life.