Curious Phrases – Barking Up the Wrong Tree
Meaning: Following a dead end path, pursuing an incorrect lead or assumption.
Example: Tanya tried to get some money from her uncle, but she was barking up the wrong tree — he doesn’t have a dime!
Origin: This phrase comes from the USA and originates in the practice of raccoon hunting. Raccoons are partly nocturnal animals and are hunted with dogs. The raccoons often take sanctuary in trees. When the dogs spot them up a tree they stand at the base and bark – occasionally, in the dark, they get the wrong tree.
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