From wikipedia: The idiom "red herring" is used to refer to something that misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue.

Is there literal translation or similar idiom?

  • Are you referring to this idiom meaning in financial world? Like here: investopedia.com/terms/r/redherring.asp? If yes, then I think there are no exact Russian equivalent.
    – HEKTO
    Apr 18, 2014 at 18:50
  • I think, it's:<br /> уловка <= adj.*<br /> сбить с толку <= *action
    – igoryonya
    Apr 30, 2017 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


I don't think there a phrase in Russian with the exact same meaning as red herring. Depending on the context, you could use:

Отвлечение внимания
Отвлекающий аргумент
Отвлекающий манёвр
Ложная улика
Ложный манёвр

There is term копчёная сельдь, however I've never actually heard it in speech.

  • 3
    "Отвлекающий маневр" it's most commonly used phrase in this context...
    – Sergey
    Apr 16, 2014 at 14:57
  • 1
    @Sergey As I mentioned, it really depends on the context. Отвлекающий маневр refers to something that was done/presented on purpose. When it's more accidental, then ложная улика would be a better option. For example, you are trying to find out why your car doesn't start and you see a disconnected wire in the engine compartment. You start thinking that it's the reason - and are trying to figure out where it's supposed to go and why it's disconnected - and so on. Eventually, turns out that the car is not starting because it doesn't have petrol. The disconnected wire is the red herring.
    – Aleks G
    Apr 16, 2014 at 15:07
  • 5
    How about "(навести на) ложный след"? It seems somewhat related to the English idiom's alleged origins.
    – mustaccio
    Apr 16, 2014 at 16:49
  • @AlexG Sorry but I think in russian society any thing related to crime/investigation like "улика" are very limited in context. Since I'm [bela]russian I will use "неверная предпосылка" rather then your "ложная улика"in this engine related example.
    – Sergey
    Apr 16, 2014 at 21:39
  • 5
    I agree with "ложный след" (false trail) being a very good option here.
    – Oleg
    Apr 17, 2014 at 12:39

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