Of late I have learned about the sentence "everybody has an angle", which I cannot recall for now where I came across it. I have no idea about its meaning, usage, and so forth.

I think what I look for is the best interpretation of this sentence.

  • I just read "Everyone didn’t have an act, an ulterior motive and an angle, even in New York.", and don't understand the "angle". I searched and found this.
    – Zhang
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 2:40

3 Answers 3


When I hear it means what you want, for instance my angle (musically) is for the passion whereas for others, their angle might be for money. Origins are unknown to me; I mainly hear it as a movie cliche when someone seems like they're helping and they're questioned with "what's your angle?", implying, what do they really want?


Interesting expression! Never heard of it before.

I've fished this definition of angle (noun; sense 8) out of Wiktionary:

(slang) A scheme; a means of benefitting from a situation, usually hidden, possibly illegal.
His angle is that he gets a percentage, but mostly in trade.

  • 1
    Much appreciated, this meaning of "angle" seems to fit that of "angle" in the sentence "everybody has an angle".
    – Yes
    Commented Aug 11, 2014 at 4:17

I am studying for the GRE general test. This phrase showed in one of the sample questions. From the answer keys, it explained the meaning of the phrase in question - each person is concerned primarily with his or her interest.

  • Hi welcome to ELL! It's great that you've provided the source of your information and showed us it is relevant to the OP's question. Can you expand on the meaning though? We expect our answers to be detailed.
    – Eddie Kal
    Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 7:05

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