‘Smoke and Mirrors’

Definition: something intended to disguise or draw attention away from an often embarrassing or unpleasant issue (Source: Merriam Webster)

The origin of the phrase ‘smoke and mirrors’ comes from when stage performers and magicians actually use smoke and mirrors to beguile the audience. Now the idiom is often used in a political sense. The American Journalist, Jimmy Breslin wrote in his Notes of Impeachment Summer. 1975: 

“All political power is primarily an illusion…Mirrors and blue smoke, beautiful blue smoke rolling over the surface of highly polished mirrors…”


Jimmy Breslin didn’t directly say ‘smoke and mirrors’, but others began to use the phrase more and more often. And now we use it too.