Is there any one word term to express something which is promised, but only to trick others to commit something, and will never be given.

Say, I promise my friend, "If you do it, I'll give 100 bucks". Later, when he comes to seek the reward, I just find an excuse and avoid him. Insurance claims may fall into this category too.

Additionally, can anyone think of a story (like a fable/gospel) that illustrates such a scenario?


I think that the carrot and stick metaphor illustrates the point you want to make:

The phrase "carrot and stick" is a metaphor for the use of a combination of reward and punishment to induce a desired behavior.

Thus, the metaphor can serve as a visualization of what can sometimes happen in corporate and other settings, with executives "dangling" a promotion, for example (the "carrot") in front of the rank and file in order to get massive amounts of work out of them in exchange for very little reward.

In general usage, any promised reward that is really a tease may be referred to as a "dangling carrot."


| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.