wrong scent, to be on the(redirected from to be on the wrong scent)
be on the wrong scent
Following a false lead; chasing after the wrong person or thing. With this new clue, it's becoming clear that we've been on the wrong scent for months. Reporters always seem to be on the wrong scent, thanks to the politician's skill in diverting criticism and negative attention away from himself.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
wrong scent, to be on the
To follow a false trail or track. This term, which comes from hunting with hounds, was already being used figuratively in Shakespeare’s time. Laurence Sterne used it in Tristram Shandy (1705): “Tristram found he was up on a wrong scent.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer