Consider a situation in which two individuals are talking — person A and person B. In the conversation, A addresses B with the phrase:

“you of all people”.

What does the phrase “you of all people” imply here, and what is its proper usage?

1 Answer 1


It's an idiom phrase: "of all people",

of all people

— used to emphasize that a specified person is the person one most or least expects to do or know something
// You, of all people, should know the answer to this.
// My best friend, of all people, betrayed me.

(Merriam Webster)

used to show that you are especially surprised at a particular person's behaviour because it does not seem typical of them:

I thought that you, of all people, would believe me!


Note that it doesn't always have to be "people"; it can also be, say, "places" or "things".

Example sentences (from The Free Dictionary)

with "people":

  • Really, Jeff, you of all people should know that it is never OK to get behind the wheel after drinking.

  • And then Tom Hanks, of all people, stopped by to take pictures with our wedding party in the park.

with "places":

  • If it's a rest they need, then why go to New York of all places?

  • My parents are taking us to Louisiana, of all places. What the heck is there to do in Louisiana?

with "things":

  • When he retired, he took up painting, of all things. He had never even picked up a paintbrush before that!

  • After spending his childhood in and out of detention centers, he became, of all things, a cop.

  • 2
    Thanks for the comprehensive answer, have a nice day.
    – Mr.I
    Commented Mar 2, 2022 at 11:05

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