red herring

red herring (plural red herrings)

  1. A herring that is cured in smoke and brine strong enough to turn the flesh red; a type of kipper.
    • Up in the morning, and had some red herrings to our breakfast, while my boot-heel was a-mending, by the same token the boy left the hole as big as it was before.
  2. (figuratively) A clue, information, argument etc. that is or is intended to be misleading, diverting attention from the real answer or issue.
  3. (finance) A red herring prospectus.
  • French: hareng saur
  • German: Bückling
  • Italian: aringa affumicata
  • Russian: копчёная селёдка
  • French: diversion, leurre
  • German: falsche Fährte, Nebelkerze (figurative), Ablenkung (general)
  • Italian: falsa pista, (idiomatic) specchietto per le allodole
  • Portuguese: pista falsa
  • Russian: ло́жный след
  • Spanish: pista falsa

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