I am watching The Expanse tv series and have encountered the following dialogue:

  • I need to borrow your spy on Tycho Station.
  • What for?
  • To keep an eye on Fred Johnson. He's over-charging the Mormons for their toilet seats.
  • Well, you can't have him.
  • Why not?
  • It took me five years to sheep-dip him in Johnson's outfit, to steal tech for his competitors.

What does the verb to sheep-dip mean in the context?

1 Answer 1


https://www.wordnik.com/words/sheep-dip : The practice within the intelligence community of assigning to agents non-intelligence or military jobs in order to disguise their source agency.

Ranchers "dip" livestock in solutions designed to kill parasites and keep them healthy.

Sheep getting dipped

Assigning spies common jobs is a process to "wash" them clean and make it easier for them to infiltrate an organization.

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