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fish in troubled waters

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Try to take advantage of a confused situation. For example, He often buys up stock in companies declaring bankruptcy; fishing in troubled waters generally pays off. This term, first recorded in 1568, expresses the even older notion that fish bite more readily when seas are rough.

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QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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