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pigeon drop

a confidence game or sleight-of-hand swindle whereby cash is extracted from the victim as collateral for a supposed share in a large sum of discovered money, dishonest profits, or gambling winnings, which in fact are nonexistent.
Origin of pigeon drop
1935-40, Americanism; so called because such swindles orig. began with the dropping of a wallet in front of the intended victim, the pigeon Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Slang definitions & phrases for pigeon drop

pigeon drop

noun phrase

A swindle in which the confidence man tells the victim that he has found a large amount of money that he will share if the victim proffers money as a show of good faith (1937+ Underworld)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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