I know that a Red Herring is like a "señuelo", but is there any fish in Spanish with kind of similar connotations?

I'm translating a joke regarding a Red Herring, playing with his literal meaning and his figurative meaning, and it has to be a fish.

Kind of difficult, isn't it?

Here is the context of the joke:

(In trial, a lawyer has a fish called "red herring" as a piece of evidence).

Rabington: Are you saying that you wish to pursue the red herring?
Falcon: Yes. I wish to closely examine and question the piece of evidence that is overtly labeled as a red herring. This is the type of man that I am. I see a trail that clearly veers away from my goal, but I follow it anyway.

It's a stupid joke, but if you translated literally as "arenque rojo", then is not even a joke.

  • 1
    In Spanish they generally use the anglicism red herring (as it was a concept developed in English) or pista falsa (literally, false lead/hint). Perhaps if you gave us a bit of the joke we might be able to find something that fits a bit better. Jun 17 '19 at 21:46
  • the only one I know is "trucha" that is a "trout", that means something like: "be aware"
    – Mike
    Jun 17 '19 at 22:35
  • @guifa thank you for your answers. I edited the post to write the context.
    – lvaldia
    Jun 18 '19 at 0:28
  • Maybe arenque rojo. Jun 18 '19 at 5:01
  • Ivaldia, please don't forget to upvote the answer you selected! I think that you have enough rep at this point to do that. (Great question, by the way.) Jun 18 '19 at 20:17

Maybe you can use rémora:


Del lat. remŏra.

  1. f. Pez teleósteo marino, del suborden de los acantopterigios, de unos 40 cm de largo, fusiforme, de color ceniciento, con una aleta dorsal y otra ventral que nacen en la mitad del cuerpo y se prolongan hasta la cola, y encima de la cabeza un disco oval, formado por una serie de láminas cartilaginosas movibles, con el cual hace el vacío para adherirse fuertemente a los objetos flotantes.

  2. f. Persona o cosa que retrasa, dificulta o detiene algo.

As you see, the word in Spanish denotes a kind of fish, but also denotes a person or thing that delays, hinders or stops you from doing something. So you can name the fish "rémora" and adapt (not translate) the text that Falcon says to something like this:

Sí, quiero examinar detenidamente la prueba visiblemente etiquetada como "rémora". Así soy yo. Veo un camino que obviamente va a retrasar la consecución de mi objetivo, pero me lanzo igualmente.


As much as I hate it being used, there is the "Trucha" (trout) that means something fake. For example this is an original Channel bag, and the other one is "trucho".

That being said, I never say that because it is not a slang I like.

  • 1
    Be aware that trucha is slang for a gay person in European Spanish.
    – Charlie
    Jun 19 '19 at 4:49
  • In Chile something "trucha" is somthing tricky (fake, truculent), and it can also be applied to a man in the sense that @Charlie points out, because it is a "tricky man" Jun 19 '19 at 15:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.