fishing expedition


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fishing expedition

An attempt to discover information without knowing what it may be. The term implies that the search does not have a specific subject but is rather performed in the hopes that some new information will be found that will be beneficial to the searcher. Primarily heard in US. The defense attorney objected to the vague line of questioning, accusing the prosecutor of engaging in a fishing expedition.
See also: expedition, fishing

fishing expedition

a search for information without knowledge of whether such information exists. (This involves asking questions with no preconceived notion of what the answers might reveal.) The lawyer was on a fishing expedition. There was no real wrong committed to justify a lawsuit. Your honor, the prosecutor is just on a clumsy fishing expedition. I move for dismissal. We are going to have to go on a fishing expedition to try to find the facts.
See also: expedition, fishing

fishing expedition

An attempt to find useful information by asking questions at random. For example, The sales force was told to go on a fishing expedition to find out what they could about the company's competitors . This expression was taken up by lawyers to describe interrogating an adversary in hopes of finding relevant evidence and is now used more broadly still. [c. 1930]
See also: expedition, fishing

a fishing expedition

mainly AMERICAN
If you are on a fishing expedition, you are trying to find out facts about something, often secretly. I know why you're here. You're on a fishing expedition. You're hunting for material. He was asked whether Wilkey was engaged in a fishing expedition aimed at politically embarrassing the House.
See also: expedition, fishing

a fishing expedition

a search or investigation undertaken with the hope, though not the stated purpose, of discovering information.
1998 High Country News Agency insiders describe the inquiry as a fishing expedition to uncover evidence that Dombeck may have been a party to illegal lobbying.
See also: expedition, fishing

fishing expedition

n. an exploratory search for facts. (This involves asking questions with no preconceived notion of what the answers might reveal.) The lawyer was on a fishing expedition. There was no real wrong committed to justify a lawsuit.
See also: expedition, fishing
References in periodicals archive ?
Today, a single fishing expedition can cost up to about $500 (roughly 400 euros), said another fisherman called Mehdi Bakr, who lost his hand when an Israeli navy vessel fired at his boat in 1997.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has landed a giant pike on a fishing expedition in Siberia, says the Kremlin.
The pair were on a fishing expedition and died when the chopper - a Eurocopter E120 B - lurched to one side during take-off after the pilot had dropped them off.
London, July 29 (ANI): Sarah Palin had an encounter with a brown bear while she was on a fishing expedition in Alaska.
It is understood the problems started at the end of an unsuccessful fishing expedition.
Shoma Choudhury, Tehelka 's editor- features, who has been at the forefront of many operations, said: " Every story is a fishing expedition.
THREE boys saw their grandfather swept to his death while on a fishing expedition.
A NIGHT fishing expedition landed three men in court.
It would say that anytime officials want to go on a fishing expedition in medical records, on a hunch or just because under the law of percentages it might sometimes result in finding evidence, they can;' he says.
They had left their home in Kilkeel on a fishing expedition.
The Greenes had left their home in Kilkeel on February 14 on a fishing expedition.
It can be almost anything, and in a lot of cases, it's a fishing expedition.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), specializing in constitutional law, said today that releasing documents pertaining to Supreme Court nominee John Roberts when he served in the Solicitor General's office would set a dangerous precedent and would violate the attorney-client privilege to satisfy those who are on a fishing expedition in the weeks leading up to the confirmation hearings.
A fisherman was on Saturday killed by a hippo while preparing his nets for a fishing expedition in Lake Naivasha.
What has emerged in recent days has been a clear picture of a government on a fishing expedition for as much data on the public as they can get," Jacobs said.