from The Century Dictionary.

  • To pluck; fleece; strip of money by the tricks of gambling.
  • noun Any bird of the family Columbidæ (which see for technical characters); a dove. ; ;
  • noun A simpleton to be swindled; a gull: opposed to rook. See stool-pigeon.
  • noun A toy consisting of a light propeller-wheel, which, on being made to revolve rapidly by means of a string wound about a shaft on which it rests, rises in the air in a short flight.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb Slang To pluck; to fleece; to swindle by tricks in gambling.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Any bird of the order Columbæ, of which numerous species occur in nearly all parts of the world.
  • noun Slang An unsuspected victim of sharpers; a gull.
  • noun (Zoöl.) an Australian passerine bird (Graucalus melanops); -- called also black-faced crow.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of numerous species of Old World pigeons belonging to the family Treronidæ.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of the large Asiatic fruit pigeons of the genus Carpophada.
  • noun (Bot.) the purplish black fruit of the pokeweed; also, the plant itself. See Pokeweed.
  • noun an extraordinary and grotesque dialect, employed in the commercial cities of China, as the medium of communication between foreign merchants and the Chinese. Its base is English, with a mixture of Portuguese and Hindustani.
  • noun (Bot.) a kind of foxtail grass (Setaria glauca), of some value as fodder. The seeds are eagerly eaten by pigeons and other birds.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The American sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter velox or Accipiter fuscus).
  • noun An old English game, in which balls were rolled through little arches.
  • noun a dovecote.
  • noun (Bot.) the seed of Cajanus Indicus; a kind of pulse used for food in the East and West Indies; also, the plant itself.
  • noun (Bot.) the edible drupes of two West African species of Chrysobalanus (Chrysobalanus ellipticus and Chrysobalanus luteus).
  • noun (Zoöl.) See under Tremex.
  • noun (Bot.) a name in the West Indies for the wood of several very different kinds of trees, species of Dipholis, Diospyros, and Coccoloba.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the flicker.
  • noun (Zoöl.), [Local, U.S.] The golden plover.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun One of several birds of the family Columbidae, which consists of more than 300 species.
  • noun slang A person who is a target or victim of a confidence game.
  • verb transitive to deceive with a confidence game

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun wild and domesticated birds having a heavy body and short legs


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French pyjon, from Late Latin pipionem ("chirping bird"), accusative singular of Latin pipio ("chirping bird"), from pipiō ("to chirp").


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    David Hernandez (1991)

    Pigeons are the spiks of Birdland.

    They are survivors of blood, fire and stone.

    They can’t afford to fly south

    or a Florida winter home.

    Most everybody passing up a pigeon pack

    tries to break it up because they move funny

    and seem to be dancing like young street thugs

    with an 18-foot, 10-speaker Sanyo book box radio

    on a 2-foot red shoulder strap.

    Pigeons have feathers of a different color.

    They are too bright to be dull

    and too dull to be bright

    so they are not accepted anywhere.

    Nobody wants to give pigeons a job.

    Parakeets, canaries and parrots

    have the market sown up as far as that goes.

    They live in fancy cages, get 3 meals a day

    for a song and dance routine.

    When was the last time you saw a pigeon

    in someone’s home?

    Unless they bleached their feathers white

    and try to pass off as doves,

    you will never see pet pigeons.

    Besides, their accents give them away

    when they start cooing.

    Once in a while, some creatures will treat them decent.

    They are known as pigeon ladies, renegades,

    or bleeding-heart Liberals.

    What they do is build these wooden cages

    on rooftops that look like huge

    pigeon housing projects

    where they freeze during the winters

    and get their little claws stuck in tar

    on hot summer days

    No wonder they are pigeon-toed.

    I tell you,

    Pigeons are the spiks of Birdland.

    There is a specific indentation pattern to the original poem that is lost here, but can be seen at this website (unfortunately at the price of a background pattern that makes reading particularly hard, for me at any rate)


    March 15, 2009