Lexicon Valley

Red Herring: A Wild Goose Chase That Stinks From Fish

How did Clupea harengus come to signify a diversionary tactic?

Listen to Lexicon Valley Episode No. 83:

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Mike Vuolo and Bob Garfield discuss the etymology and history of the phrase red herring with Wall Street Journal language columnist Ben Zimmer. For more on the phrase, visit Zimmer’s Word Routes column on Vocabulary.com.

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