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A person who is easily exploited, deceived, or taken advantage of, especially due to being in a position of vulnerability. Likened to the clay pigeons (small clay discs) used as targets in trapshooting. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. He was used as a clay pigeon by the mafia, who laundered money through his accounts.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
A person easily duped or taken advantage of, as in You're a clay pigeon for all of those telephone fund-raisers. The term alludes to the clay pigeon of trapshooting, which replaced the use of live birds in this sport in the 1860s. Its transfer to figurative use in the first half of the 1900s probably is explained by the much older slang use of pigeon for "dupe." Also see fall guy.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n. a gullible person; a pigeon. (Underworld.) We need a clay pigeon to divert attention from the snatch.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.