One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘some people were fishing in the lake’
go fishing, angle, cast, trawl
2‘she opened her handbag and fished for her purse’
search, delve, look, hunt, cast about, cast around, cast round
grope, ferret, ferret about, ferret around, root about, root around, rummage, rummage about, rummage around, rummage round, scrabble, fumble
seek, look high and low
3‘I'm not fishing for compliments’
try to get, seek to obtain, solicit
make a bid, angle, aim, cast about, cast around, cast round, hope, look
informal be after
‘they fished him out of the water’
pull out, haul out, take out, bring out
remove, extricate, extract, retrieve
rescue from, save from
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