Is there an actual term? Just wondering since in movies or books there are those whom have information that other characters want or need and thus pay 'em for such information.

closed as off-topic by curiousdannii, ab2, Nathaniel, jimm101, Mitch Mar 27 '16 at 2:11

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    Informer? News monger? – Persian Cat Apr 24 '13 at 2:08
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    Snitch? Stool pigeon? Narc? – Mitch Apr 24 '13 at 2:36
  • Information today is a commodity and one dealing commercially in it should naturally be treated the same as one dealing in any other commodity. It does not require a specific definition to identify a seller of information as distinct from the generic term(s). – Kris Apr 24 '13 at 6:45
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    You could look up spy in a thesaurus for even more candidates – mole is another good one. (Those words are more hypernyms, though, since some spies are motivated by ideological reasons, more so than financial ones.) – J.R. Apr 24 '13 at 9:03
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    It's simply unclear if you mean a criminal that sells information to the cops or if you mean someone like (say) an analyst at a stock brokerage. You should clarify this. – Fattie May 8 '14 at 13:31

You're probably thinking of an information broker:

a person or company providing information to clients for a fee -- definition from Dictionary.com

TVTropes.com also lists a knowledge broker:

This is the person who always seems to have the dirt on everybody. The person who runs an information-gathering system, with a network of informers.

  • @NoActualName Note that this term usually carries the connotation of professional, consultant, or (in fiction) hacker. It wouldn't suit a criminal-class character, except facetiously. – Bradd Szonye Apr 24 '13 at 2:47
  • @BraddSzonye The way I read the question, that's exactly what OP is looking for. All the other terms suggested imply a unscrupulous or underhanded character. – p.s.w.g Apr 24 '13 at 2:55
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    It looks to me more like a class distinction: "information broker" for white collar informants, and "informant" for underworld information brokers. ;) – Bradd Szonye Apr 24 '13 at 2:57
  • Works so long as the information is sourced from elsewhere. One doesn't broker for what one owns (belongs to oneself) -- there need to be three parties for a brokerage. – Kris Apr 24 '13 at 10:46
  • I feel these are obscure, rather bizarre, terms that are rarely used. – Fattie May 8 '14 at 13:32

In crime fiction: informant or CI (for confidential/criminal informant).


In police and crime fiction lingo: a paid informant as used in Confidential Informant by John Madinger (p.211); Google Books

  • Paid or not, informant was already in the earlier answers. – NVZ Mar 26 '16 at 20:57
  • OK, so, should I remove my answer and my research? informant may or may not be paid. An informant may be informing for other non-monetary reasons, like immunity from prosecution. Does that meet with your approval?? – Lambie Mar 26 '16 at 21:08
  • Don't remove. I just gave a heads up. Other users may react unfavourably – NVZ Mar 26 '16 at 21:08
  • NVZ, let them eat cake, poor dears. I am feeling rather prickly today. :) – Lambie Mar 26 '16 at 21:13
  • No, because the link goes directly to a google book, which I just checked and is fine. I am not responsible for how links to google books look when they take you to a specific page! – Lambie Mar 26 '16 at 21:16

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