stool pigeon
noun Etymology: probably from the early practice of fastening the decoy bird to a stool Date: 1826 1. a person acting as a decoy or informer; especially a spy sent into a group to report (as to the police) on its activities 2. a pigeon used as a decoy to draw others within a net

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stool pigeon — Stool Stool, n. [AS. st[=o]l a seat; akin to OFries. & OS. st[=o]l, D. stoel, G. stuhl, OHG. stuol, Icel. st[=o]ll, Sw. & Dan. stol, Goth. st[=o]ls, Lith. stalas a table, Russ. stol ; from the root of E. stand. [root]163. See {Stand}, and cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • stool pigeon — (USA) A stool pigeon is a police informer …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • stool pigeon — ► NOUN 1) a police informer. 2) a person acting as a decoy. ORIGIN so named from the original use of a pigeon fixed to a stool as a decoy …   English terms dictionary

  • stool pigeon — police informer, 1868, American English; earlier one who betrays the unwary (or is used to betray them), 1821, originally a decoy bird (1812); said to be from decoys being fastened to stools to lure other pigeons. But perhaps related to stall… …   Etymology dictionary

  • stool pigeon — [sto͞o′lē] n. ☆ n. 1. a pigeon or other bird used as a decoy 2. a person serving as a decoy 3. Informal a spy or informer, esp. for the police: also stoolie [sto͞o′lē] n …   English World dictionary

  • stool pigeon — index informant Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • stool pigeon — stool ,pigeon noun count INFORMAL someone who gives information to the police about criminals …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • stool pigeon — [n] informer betrayer, blabbermouth*, canary*, decoy, deep throat*, doublecrosser, fink*, informant, narc*, nark*, rat*, sneak, snitch, snitcher, source, squealer*, stoolie*, tattler, tattletale, tipster*, turncoat, weasel*, whistle blower;… …   New thesaurus

  • stool pigeon — noun 1. someone acting as an informer or decoy for the police • Syn: ↑fink, ↑snitch, ↑snitcher, ↑stoolpigeon, ↑stoolie, ↑sneak, ↑sneaker, ↑canary …   Useful english dictionary

  • stool pigeon — (USA)    A stool pigeon is a police informer.   (Dorking School Dictionary)    ***    A person who acts as an informer, especially one who gives information to the police or the authorities, is called a stool pigeon.     I don t trust Jack. I… …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • stool pigeon —    a police informer    Pigeons were tied to stools to lure other pigeons for capture:     Perhaps the incident would have passed without further consequences, for the stool pigeon was no more popular among the guards, most of whom thought he had …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

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