Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Pigeon (To).

 Pigtails (The).Pigeon, Pigeons. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Pigeon (To).
To cheat, to gull one of his money by almost self-evident hoaxes. Pigeons are very easily gulled, caught by snares, or scared by malkins. One easily gulled is called a pigeon. The French pigeon means a dupe.   1
        “Je me deffieroy tantost que tu serois un de ceux qui ne se laissent si facilement pigeonner à telles gens.”—Les Dialogues de Jacques Tahureau, (1585).
   Flying the pigeons. Stealing coals from a cart or sack between the coaldealer’s yard and the house of the customer.   2
   Flying the blue pigeon. Stealing the lead from off the roofs of churches or buildings of any kind.   3
   To pigeon a person is to cheat him clandestinely. A gullible person is called a pigeon, and in the sporting world sharps and flats are called “rooks and pigeons.” The brigands of Spain used to be called palomos (pigeons); and in French argot a dupe is called pechon, or peschon de ruby; where pechon or peschon is the Italian piccione (a pigeon), and de ruby is a pun on dérobé, bamboozled.   4
   To pluck a pigeon. To cheat a gullible person of his money. To fleece a greenhorn. (See GREENHORN.)   5
        “‘Here comes a nice pigeon to pluck,’ said one of the thieves.”—C. Reade.

 Pigtails (The).Pigeon, Pigeons. 


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