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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
slang Very drunk, especially to such a degree that one's senses have been heavily affected. He just sat at the bar for the whole night getting pigeon-eyed. Working in a 24-hour fast food restaurant in the middle of the city, you get pretty used to pigeon-eyed idiots coming in at all hours of the evening looking for junk food.
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.
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]
put the cat among the pigeonsor
set the cat among the pigeonsBRITISH
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.
be someone's pigeonBRITISH, 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'.
a stool pigeonOLD-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.
put (or set) the cat among the pigeonssay 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.
be someone's pigeonbe 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.
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.
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.
n. a gullible person; a pigeon. (Underworld.) We need a clay pigeon to divert attention from the snatch.
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).
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!