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 ?
go on a fishing expedition with Jim Raby the next morning; comparing who
Morrison, who has caught over 1000 blue marlins to date, along with his expert crew, will guide you on a fishing expedition that is sure to leave you with some huge memories and hopefully the same size fish.
Agrand jury--which is supposedly a citizen fact-finding body charged with determining the likelihood of a crime but in reality more resembles a fishing expedition dominated by a federal prosecutor--can unilaterally issue subpoenas to seize any assets and compel testimony from any witness.
"We were basically doing a major fishing expedition," Dr.
Little is known for sure about the recently disclosed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fishing expedition at about eight newspaper companies and the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
Republicans on the committee, many of whom sympathize with the "regime-change" agenda at DoD, have been resistant to such investigations, calling them as election-year fishing expedition. Democrats, by contrast, see inch investigations as vital to understanding the central role Feith's office may have played in a range of dubious intelligence enterprises, from pushing claims about a supposed Saddam-al Qaeda partnership and overblown estimates of alleged Iraqi stocks of WMD to what the committee's ranking minority member Sen.
A 68-year-old man died and his 38-year-old son-in-law was feared dead after a family fishing expedition turned to tragedy.
Fishermen can make millions of dollars from a single fishing expedition thanks to the huge demand for fins being generated by the burgeoning Chinese middle-class.
John Hall (16), of Blenheim Road, Moseley, who is on holiday with his parents at Starcross, Devon, yesterday went on a fishing expedition in a rowing boat.
On Tuesday the three stepped it up a gear by chartering a boat and were joined by Rod Simpson for a sea fishing expedition. Each of the anglers hooked three nice fish while working on their sun tans `away from it all'.
I remember eating wild duck on a fishing expedition to Fall River in Northern California.
Needless to say, when the brown furry family returned from their fishing expedition, they were shocked and dismayed to see the shambles the puerile hoodlum had made of their woodland homestead.
Finally, there's the problem of the fishing expedition. "Every time a new matter came up with Bill or Hillary's name on it, the Attorney General referred it to Starr," says Morrison.
The accident happened at around 2.30 pm in Witness Douglas Clark, of Old Kilpatrick, who was driving on a fishing expedition, said: "It was one of two training planes flying in the area.
"This is clearly a fishing expedition designed to pull Americans United away from our day-to-day work of defending church-state separation an d opposing the Religious Right."