American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

Wag the Dog


Distracting maneuver. An action that is bigger than the thing it acts upon. Normally, a dog wags its tail, so this phrase reveals a situation where a tail, perhaps a plan or a diversion, is so powerful that it controls the dog or incites a movement among those watching. (Compare to Dog and pony show, Razzle dazzle or Red herring.)

“In order to downplay pandemic failure, the president is blaming China and now that idea has become popular and is wagging the dog.”


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