Posts tagged Artie


Pigeon [pij-uhn] noun – a person who is easily fooled or cheated; dupe.

Pigeon is the oft used term that AAs call their newcomers and sponsees. It is also the term con artists use in reference to their “mark”, or the person they are about to manipulate out of something.  It was first coined and used by Dr Bob, a con artist extraordinaire, and has carried on to this day. Below is a quote, taken from a Dr Bobblehead on the Souix Falls AA Intergroup website, which is a fairly good example of how the term is used within AA:

“As for my sponsoring, I sponsor much the same as John sponsored me. I had six pigeons in New York over the years. They still call me every week to keep in touch: Three cops, two priests and a regular guy. I’ve only had one guy I took from a Twelfth Step call to the present. He’s 86 years old, and very active in AA. He lives in Pennsylvania now and is very active in AA there.

I don’t push my pigeons into the Big Book  or Steps. I try to get them to feel the Fellowship of AA first, the way it was given to me. (Yes, I said pigeons.) I was a pigeon, my sponsor was a pigeon, and his sponsor was a pigeon. I let them know that if they want to be a sponcee, find another sponsor.”

Artie, an AA old-timer; from his advice piece titled  “Art of Sponsorship“.