stool pigeon:

(also, especially in American usage: ‘stoolie‘ & also written ‘stoolpigeon’); plural: ‘stool pigeons‘;  for the right pronunciation of this word, please click here)

‘stool’ (noun & in this context) = a piece of furniture like a chair without a backrest, usually with three legs; ‘pigeon‘ (noun) = a kind of bird
a stool pigeon (R) passing on secret information to a man

a stool pigeon (R) passing on secret information to a man

a person who acts as a decoy, i.e. an innocent person who is used to mislead the police or others, especially the media, so that the real culprit or criminal can hide or escape;

(also called ‘nark’ & ‘stoolie’ in this context) a person, usually a criminal him/herself, who acts as an informer to the police, giving away the secrets of the other criminals to the police,

(an artist's idea of a policeman getting information from his informer, a stool pigeon

(an artist’s idea of a policeman getting information from his informer, a stool pigeon)


When the entire scheme was leaked, the organisation used our manager as the stool pigeon so that the media and the police focus their attention on him and meanwhile, the top brass can clear their involvement in the affair.

Most of the big criminal bosses were brought to the justice with the help of the low-level criminals in the gangs who, out of fear of getting arrested or out of greed for money, turn stool pigeons and give away the secrets of the gang activities.

Some of the bloggers and website owners on the internet are becoming unwary stool-pigeons or stoolies for the investigating agencies like the CIA world over, and more and more personal information of their contacts/friends is being involuntarily passed on to them.

For a political news article that shows us how we come across this word in our daily browsing, please click here, for a story of a stool pigeon of the past, please click here and for an article that shows us how this word is used for things, please click here.
Note: ‘Stoolie’ (slang & in the Internet circles), means a person who follows and comments on some websites. For the definition of stoolie (definition No. 3) in Urban Dictionary, please click here & for an article in a blog which uses ‘stoolie’ in this context, please click here.

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.

Comments are closed.