will-o-the-wisp


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will-o'-the-wisp

(ˈwɪl ə ðəˈwɪsp)

n.
2. anything that deludes or misleads by luring on; an elusive thing or person.
[1600–10; orig. Will (i.e., William) with the wisp]
References in classic literature ?
The first is the taste, Which is meager and hollow, but crisp: Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist, With a flavor of Will-o-the-wisp.
She said: "The polecat is a will-o-the-wisp, rarely seen and even more rarely photographed.