pigeon — Figures of Speech:

pigeon (noun)  =

(a)  a person who can be easily deceived

(b)  an informer – a person who passes on information

(c)  a young woman

(d)  an object of special importance or concern; an affair or matter

(e)  some concern, responsibility


to pigeon (verb)  =  (of someone) to deceive, swindle, cheat


a dead pigeon  =  someone or something that is totally (completely) ruined or spoiled


(a stool-pigeon (noun)  =  a police informer

(b)  to stool-pigeon (verb)  =  to fool, or deceive or cheat


pigeon-chested [said of someone with a protruding chest, i.e. the chest part showing out]


pigeon-heated (?) =  (of a person) cowardly – not brave or daring


pigeon-necked [said of someone with a swelling on the throat area, called ‘goitre’]


pigeon-toed [said of someone with their toes (on the feet) or feet turned inwards]

a pigeon hole rack/shelf



pigeon-hole  =

(a)  box-like space (in a frame) to keep papers in, like at a hotel reception to keep room keys, in a post office to keep sorted letters; in an office to keep small papers or letter pads (commonly pigeon keepers or pigeon hobbyists use these pigeon hole racks or shelves to keep their racing pigeons)

(b)  an unacceptable gap left between two words in printing e.g.  This is  a book. {too much gap between ‘is’ and ‘a’ – a ‘pigeon hole’}


to pigeon-hole (verb)  =  to delay or postpone doing something


pigeon-holes  =

(a)   the place on a frame where a criminal’s hands are tied during flogging (‘to flog’ = to beat someone with a stick, whip, etc.)

(b)  the stocks  (the share in the stock market)


as wise as a dockyard pigeon [said of someone who is quick-witted, clever]


someone’s pigeon  =  someone’s responsibility, decision, etc.


to aim (or to shoot) at a pigeon and kill a crow=

(a)  to get less than one tries for

(b)  to make a mistake


full pigeon finds cherries bitter (‘full pigeon’ = a pigeon whose stomach is full with food) [said to imply that there is no fun in having too much of anything]


to pluck (or pull) a pigeon  =  to cheat a person


to catch two pigeons with one bean  =  to gain in two ways by one means or by one effort


to milk a pigeon  =  to try to do something impossible


to fly the pigeon  =  to steal coal from a vehicle


to put/set a cat among the pigeons = (of someone) to cause some disturbance deliberately; to do something that causes some disturbance, usually involving violence

About the Author:BC Kumar

BC Kumar, an English Language Teacher, taught in numerous countries including Ethiopia, Oman and India, shares his knowledge and passion for the English Language. Disclaimer: This is a free educational website and all content has been compiled by the author. All copyrights to images and videos belong to their respective owners.

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