red herring

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red herring

Post by Archived Topic » Thu Feb 11, 1999 12:00 am

Where does the term "red herring" come from?
Submitted by Paul Maddalena (Clark - U.S.A.)
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red herring

Post by Jonathon Green » Fri Feb 12, 1999 8:00 am

The phrase, meaning a subject intended to divert attention from the real question, comes from the country practice, now discontinued (?), of providing a run for hounds by the trailing or dragging of a dead cat, or fox, and if nothing better is available a red herring, three or four miles and then setting the dogs on the scent.
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