smoke and mirrors

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the dubious vaudeville techniques traditionally used by stage magicians.

Noun[edit]

smoke and mirrors

  1. (idiomatic) A deceptive, fraudulent, or unconvincing explanation or description.
    • 1987 March 21, Ronald Reagan, Presidential Radio Address,
      Budget process? It's more like a magic show. It's wink and blink and smoke and mirrors and pulling rabbits out of hats, but almost all that ever comes up are designs to hide increases for the special interests.
    • 2007, Australian Senate, Parliamentary debates Australia: Senate,
      On revenue raising issues, Mr Harris reveals what a master of smoke and mirrors Bob Carr really is.
    • 2009 October 17, Barack Obama, Weekly Address: Taking the Insurance Companies on Down the Stretch,
      It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s bogus. And it’s all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, "Take one of these, and call us in a decade."