pigeon


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clay pigeon

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.
See also: clay, pigeon

be (one's) pigeon

To be one's area of expertise or responsibility. I can't approve expense reports, but Betty can—that's her pigeon.
See also: pigeon

stool pigeon

An informant, especially a criminal working as a spy for law enforcement officers. Although the criminal agreed to help the police in order to avoid prison time, he was afraid the other gang members would kill him if they discovered he was a stool pigeon.
See also: pigeon, stool

put the cat among the pigeons

To do or say something that is likely to cause alarm, controversy, or unrest among a lot of people. Primarily heard in UK. The prime minister's casual remarks about the role of ethnicity in unemployment numbers has predictably put the cat among the pigeons on both sides of the political spectrum. We didn't want to put the cat among the pigeons, so we decided not to mention the bomb threat until we knew for certain that it was legitimate.
See also: among, cat, pigeon, put

set the cat among the pigeons

To do or say something that is likely to cause alarm, controversy, or unrest among a lot of people. Primarily heard in UK. The prime minister's casual remarks about the role of ethnicity in unemployment numbers has predictably set the cat among the pigeons on both sides of the political spectrum. We didn't want to set the cat among the pigeons, so we decided not to mention the bomb threat until we knew for certain that it was legitimate.
See also: among, cat, pigeon, set

throw the cat among the pigeons

To do or say something that is likely to cause alarm, controversy, or unrest among a lot of people. The prime minister's casual remarks about the role of ethnicity in unemployment numbers has predictably thrown the cat among the pigeons on both sides of the political spectrum. We didn't want to throw the cat among the pigeons, so we decided not to mention the bomb threat until we knew for certain that it was legitimate.
See also: among, cat, pigeon, throw

clay pigeon

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.
See also: clay, pigeon

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

put the cat among the pigeons

or

set the cat among the pigeons

BRITISH
If a remark or action puts the cat among the pigeons or sets the cat among the pigeons, it causes trouble, worry or anger. The bank is poised to put the cat among the pigeons this morning by slashing the cost of borrowing. Once again she set the cat among the pigeons, claiming that Michael was lying.
See also: among, cat, pigeon, put

be someone's pigeon

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If something is your pigeon, you have to deal with it. I'm glad this is your pigeon rather than mine. Note: Originally this expression was `that's not my pidgin'. The word `pidgin' represents a 17th century Chinese pronunciation of the word `business'. The expression literally meant the same as `that's not my business'.
See also: pigeon

a stool pigeon

OLD-FASHIONED
A stool pigeon is someone who gives secret information to the police. There's nothing the mob hates more than a stool pigeon. Note: This expression is used to express disapproval. Note: This expression comes from the old practice of putting a wooden pigeon on a seat to trick other pigeons.
See also: pigeon, stool

put (or set) the cat among the pigeons

say or do something that is likely to cause trouble or controversy. British
This expression was first recorded in J. Stevens 's New Spanish and English Dictionary ( 1706 ), where it is explained as referring to a man coming into the company of a group of women. The idiom flutter the dovecotes (see flutter) is based on the same idea of a group of pigeons as a tranquil or harmless community.
1998 New Scientist The…study has firmly put the cat among the pigeons by claiming that most of the therapeutic effects of expensive antidepressant pills…can be mimicked by dummy pills.
See also: among, cat, pigeon, put

be someone's pigeon

be someone's concern or affair.
In this phrase, the word pigeon derives from pidgin , as in pidgin English , the term for a grammatically simplified form of a language used for communication between people not sharing a common language. Pidgin itself represents a Chinese alteration of the English word ‘business’: it entered the English language with the meaning ‘occupation’ or ‘affair(s)’ in the early 19th century, emerging from the hybrid of English and other languages used at that time between Europeans and the Chinese for trading purposes.
See also: pigeon

put/set the cat among the ˈpigeons

(British English, informal) do something that is likely to cause trouble: She told all the staff they would have to cancel their holidays, and that really set the cat among the pigeons.
See also: among, cat, pigeon, put, set

be somebody’s pigeon

(old-fashioned, British English) be somebody’s responsibility or business: Somebody needs to write a report on training for the manager, but it’s not my pigeon.Gustav will have to tell them first, it’s his pigeon.
See also: pigeon

clay pigeon

n. a gullible person; a pigeon. (Underworld.) We need a clay pigeon to divert attention from the snatch.
See also: clay, pigeon

pigeon

1. n. a dupe; a sucker; someone singled out to be cheated. (see also patsy.) There’s our pigeon now. Don’t let him see us sizing him up.
2. n. a good-looking girl or woman. Who was the dreamy little pigeon I saw you with last night?
3. Go to stool (pigeon).

pigeon-eyed

mod. alcohol intoxicated. Who is that pigeon-eyed guy over there who is having such a hard time standing up?

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 classic literature ?
Horses were loaded with the dead; and, after this first burst of sporting, the shooting of pigeons became a business, with a few idlers, for the remainder of the season, Richard, however, boasted for many a year of his shot with the
cricket;” and Benjamin gravely asserted that he thought they had killed nearly as many pigeons on that day as there were Frenchmen destroyed on the memorable occasion of Rodney’s victory.
She conceived an affection for the pigeons which had thrown themselves on her hospitality; and when Boxtel's servant reclaimed them with culinary intentions, having eaten the first fifteen already, and now wishing to eat the other fifteen, she offered to buy them from him for a consideration of six stivers per head.
This being just double their value, the man was very glad to close the bargain, and the nurse found herself in undisputed possession of the pigeons of her master's envious neighbour.
In the course of their wanderings, these pigeons with others visited the Hague, Loewestein, and Rotterdam, seeking variety, doubtless, in the flavour of their wheat or hempseed.
Chance, or rather God, for we can see the hand of God in everything, had willed that Cornelius van Baerle should happen to hit upon one of these very pigeons.
It was better than he dreamed, and, before he knew it, he was hard upon the pigeon.
It was difficult, from underneath to see the pigeon.
A carrier pigeon on a passage can achieve a high rate of speed, and Winn reefed again.
The pigeon drove straight on for the Alameda County shore, and it was near this shore that Winn had another experience.
At an altitude of five hundred feet, the pigeon drove on over the town of Berkeley and lifted its flight to the Contra Costa hills.
The pigeon was now flying low, and where a grove of eucalyptus presented a solid front to the wind, the bird was suddenly sent fluttering wildly upward for a distance of a hundred feet.
As he finished them, he turned to the Pigeon and said:
You must remember, my boy," answered the Pigeon, "that hunger is the best sauce
Pinocchio jumped off the Pigeon's back, and the Pigeon, not wanting any thanks for a kind deed, flew away swiftly and disappeared.