These are wealthy individuals who invest, on their own or as part of a syndicate, in new businesses. Not only that, they make their skills, contacts and experience available to the businesses they invest in: those television 'dragons' are angels too. Away from business, angels are an order of beings superior to mortal man in power and intellect. In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, they bring messages from God or help Him do His work. The word has been used in English since Anglo-Saxon times and comes originally from the Latin angelus. Figuratively, an angel can be a person who resembles an angel in temperament or behaviour. The idea of an angel as someone who hands over money is American: 'One who possesses the means and inclination to "stand treat"', explains a slang dictionary of 1891. The business use is a recent adaptation of Broadway jargon for those who invest in theatrical productions - and they really do need God on their side.
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