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angle for farthings

obsolete To beg out of a prison window with a receptacle of some kind, such as a box or cup on a string, like an angler trying to catch fish. Primarily heard in UK. Imagine the days when prisons looked out onto public streets, with the prisoners shouting down at you or angling for farthings.
See also: angle, farthing

guardian angel

1. An angel or other supernatural being who is appointed to protect, guide, or otherwise watch over a particular individual. You're lucky to be alive after that accident! You must have a guardian angel!
2. A person who protects, guides, or otherwise looks after the welfare of someone. Uncle John became my guardian angel after my parents died, always making sure I had everything I needed.
See also: angel

play (all) the angles

To make use or take advantage of every means or opportunity one can find in order to reach or attain one's goal. Unless you happen to be incredibly lucky, you have to play all the angles when you're an actor looking for work. You're not going to get anywhere in this industry if you aren't willing to play the angles.
See also: angle, play

angle at (something)

To plan or scheme to get or achieve something; to try to get something in an indirect or roundabout way. (Usually used in the continuous tense.) We've been angling at securing a contract with a major development company from the Middle East for the last few months. What exactly are you angling at? If it's a pay raise, you can just forget about it.
See also: angle

angle of attack

The position of an airplane as it moves through the air. What is our angle of attack, Captain? Are we going to be able to land this plane as planned?
See also: angle, attack, of

angle for something

1. Lit. to fish for something, as with a fishhook and line. Fred was angling for a big bass. lam angling for whatever I can catch.
2. Fig. to scheme or plan to get something; to "fish" for something. She is just angling for a larger settlement from her former employer. Are you angling for a raise in pay?
See also: angle

angle off (to or toward something)

to turn or move toward something at an angle. The road angles off to the right. The sailboat angled off toward the direction the wind was blowing.
See also: angle, off

know all the angles

to know all the tricks and artifices of dealing with someone or something. Ask my accountant about taxes. He knows all the angles. Larry knows all the angles. That's how he keeps out of the slammer.
See also: all, angle, know

angle for something

to try to get or achieve something in an indirect way He's working as a consultant with several companies that are angling for business in Hong Kong.
See also: angle


1. n. a person’s understanding of something; someone’s unique perspective on an event or happening. What Bob says is interesting. What’s your angle on this, Molly?
2. n. a scheme or deception; a pivotal or critical feature of a scheme; the gimmick in a scheme or plot. I got a new angle to use in a con job on the old guy.

know all the angles

tv. to know all the tricks and artifices of dealing with someone or something. Ask my mouthpiece about taxes. He knows all the angles.
See also: all, angle, know