指鹿为马 (Zhĭ lù weí mă), "to point to a deer and call it a horse" is an idiom that means "intentionally misrepresent with ulterior motives".
When the Qín emperor died in 210 BC, his power hungry high court eunuch effectively took over, controlling the emperor’s impressionable son like a puppet.
To cement his power and find out which courtiers were loyal to him, the eunuch devised a test: During an imperial council, he brought a deer to the emperor and said, "here, your majesty, a fine horse for you!" The confused emperor said "but isn't this a deer?" The eunuch asked the other courtiers. Most played along, saying it was a horse. Those who didn’t were soon executed.
The dynasty fell within three years.
And so, when someone is trying to sell you something while pretending it's something else, you call them out: They’re calling a deer a horse!
Who is who?? Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons