What is the X in X-mas?
late 14c. (early 13c. as a surname), from Old French pigeon "young dove" (13c.), probably from Vulgar Latin *pibionem, dissimilation from Late Latin pipionem (nominative pipio) "squab, young chirping bird" (3c.), from pipire "to peep, chirp," of imitative origin. Meaning "one easily duped" is from 1590s. Replaced culver (Old English culufre, from Vulgar Latin *columbra, from Latin columbula) and native dove.
[for first sense see stool pigeon; the second sense probably derives fr the expression pluck a pigeon and may be based on a notion that pigeons are easy to catch; the sense ''young woman'' is probably fr or related to quail and again suggests an easy victim]
Pigeons are mentioned as among the offerings which, by divine appointment, Abram presented unto the Lord (Gen. 15:9). They were afterwards enumerated among the sin-offerings (Lev. 1:14; 12:6), and the law provided that those who could not offer a lamb might offer two young pigeons (5:7; comp. Luke 2:24). (See DOVE.)