A pawn was a game piece in the game of chess. Metaphorically speaking, to be considered a pawn in the hands of another was to be used against one's will to achieve a desired outcome, similar to being considered a puppet.

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In the writers' first draft script of ENT: "Dear Doctor", Doctor Phlox found a pawn in the stomach of Captain Archer's pet beagle, Porthos, the dog having recently eaten the pawn as Archer had been playing chess. The pawn was causing the dog some gastrointestinal distress. However, in the final version of the episode, Porthos suffers from gastrointestinal distress caused, instead, by cheese.

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