FW: "pigeon" -- obscure English slang

David K. Barnhart dbarnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM
Thu May 2 12:44:13 UTC 2013

Dear Ben,

What's your e-mail.  The one I have (ogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM) didn't work?

-----Original Message-----
From: David K. Barnhart [mailto:dbarnhart at highlands.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2013 8:40 AM
To: ogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Subject: RE: "pigeon" -- obscure English slang

See eOED:

II. Figurative uses.
 6. colloq.
Thesaurus >
Categories >

 a. A naive or gullible person; a fool or simpleton; a person who is easily
swindled, esp. in gambling.

?1525   Interlocucyon betwyxt Man & Woman sig. Aiij,   When a younge pegeon
a Woman hath gotyn She will make hym at length as stronge as a crane For
surely she will neuer forsake hym Tyll that his croper bone wax very lame.
1639   S. Du Verger tr. J. P. Camus Admirable Events 112   This pigeon being
not of full age, could not contract it without the consent of his mother.
1654   E. Gayton Pleasant Notes Don Quixot iv. iii. 187   Nor is Sancho
behind him for a Pigeon; both deluded commit equall errors.
1785   M. Holford Fanny III. 256,   I am not such a pigeon as he takes me
for! I told him I had made a vow not to marry till I was twenty-one, and
I'll stick to my text.
1788   J. Cobb Love in East ii. 28   Mush. My dear Colonel, ten thousand
thanks. (aside) This fellow will prove a fine pigeon.
1809   B. H. Malkin tr. A. R. Le Sage Adventures Gil Blas II. iv. vii. 149
A flatterer may play what game he likes against the pigeons of high life!
1861   Thackeray Four Georges iv. 201   He was a famous pigeon for the
play-men; they lived upon him.
1941   Sun (Baltimore) 14 Aug. 13/7   These amateur gamblers are the
greatest pigeons I ever knew.
1993   N.Y. Times Bk. Rev. 21 Mar. 10/1   Johnny Rich was a 'steerman' who
led pigeons, or unsuspecting amateurs, into crooked card games with
professional gamblers.

OED editors have even found _pigeon_ in this sense in 1993.  As too
longevity see earlier among the quotes.  _Pigeon_ is also found in Berrey
and Van den Bark, Green, Wentworth mostly in the context of gambling.

On May 1, 2013, at 9:55 PM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:

a little obscure in English?
> Benjamin Barrett
> Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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