Etymology
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red herring (n.)

"smoked herring" early 15c. (they turn red when cured), as opposed to white herring "fresh herring." Supposedly used by fugitives to put bloodhounds off their scent (1680s), hence metaphoric sense (1864) of "something used to divert attention from the basic issue;" earlier it simply meant "a false lead":

Though I have not the honour of being one of those sagacious country gentlemen, who have so long vociferated for the American war, who have so long run on the red-herring scent of American taxation before they found out there was no game on foot; (etc.) [Parliamentary speech dated March 20, 1782, reprinted in "Beauties of the British Senate," London, 1786]
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Hong Kong 
former British colony in China, from Cantonese pronunciation of Chinese Xianggang, literally "fragrant port." Perhaps so called from the scent of incense factories or opium cargoes, or from the semi-fresh waters of the bay. The Cantonese word hong, literally "row, series" was the general English term for foreign trading establishments in China (warehouse viewed as a row of rooms).
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