“I detest a stool pigeon,” said Mr. Gandiss after Joe the Sweeper had slouched away.
"Neither am I asking you to be a stool pigeon," said the detective.
Altogether, there was no help for it; Steamboat Dan must yield to his destiny of stool pigeon or pay the penalty in stripes.
If I were to guess at it I should say he was a detective's stool pigeon.
Of course, in a case of this sort, "stool pigeon" men are useless, for no professional crooks are involved.
Was Reese merely a "stool pigeon" or was he an "agent provocateur?"
Knowing from Molly that Texas was a stool pigeon he understood the philosophy of the high-priced counters.
"Which one of you is the stool pigeon," came the harsh query.
Of course, it was possible that Kurt was a stool pigeon, leading him on as a test.
When the stool pigeon once more stood in the doorway, rattling his half dollars, they followed him into the den of the tiger.
"police informer," 1868, American English; earlier "one who betrays the unwary (or is used to betray them)," 1821, originally a decoy bird (1812); said to be from decoys being fastened to stools to lure other pigeons. But perhaps related to stall "decoy bird" (c.1500), especially "a pigeon used to entice a hawk into the net" (see stall (n.2)). Also cf. pigeon.
An informer, especially for the police: “Lefty figured out that Mugsy was the stool pigeon when he saw him talking to the warden.”
[1930+ Underworld; fr earlier sense ''decoy,'' fr the early 1800s practice of fastening pigeons and other birds to stools or stands as decoys; this term was applied to the decoy or ''hustler'' for a faro bank]