alec


Also found in: Dictionary, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

smart aleck

One who makes jokes and uses sarcasm in an attempt to seem witty, but instead is deemed annoying. Also seen as "smart alec." I'd had enough of that smart alec's wisecracks, so I left the party early.
See also: aleck, smart

a smart alec/aleck

  (informal)
someone who is always trying to seem more clever than everyone else in a way that is annoying Some smart alec in the audience kept making witty remarks during my talk.
See also: alec, smart

smart aleck

An impudent or obnoxiously self-assertive individual, a wise guy, as in New teachers often have a hard time coping with the smart alecks in their classes. This expression, dating from the mid-1800s, probably alluded to a person of this description who was named Alec or Alexander, but his identity has been lost.
See also: aleck, smart
References in classic literature ?
Before going into this, I would draw your attention to the fact that, if Alec Cunningham's narrative was correct, and if the assailant, after shooting William Kirwan, had instantly fled, then it obviously could not be he who tore the paper from the dead man's hand.
Evidently, therefore, Alec Cunningham had lied when he said that the two men were struggling when the shot was fired.
I was certain that Alec had torn it out of the dead man's hand, and almost certain that he must have thrust it into the pocket of his dressing-gown.
Alec, however, was a dangerous man to play games of that sort with.
Of course, we do not yet know what the relations may have been between Alec Cunningham, William Kirwan, and Annie Morrison.
She had an attribute which amounted to a disadvantage just now; and it was this that caused Alec d'Urberville's eyes to rivet themselves upon her.
That's all right, Alec," Carmintel said in a low voice.
Big Alec levied and collected the tax, for all the world like a king.
And such a line, we were confident, Big Alec intended setting, in open and flagrant violation of the law.
Several days passed after the visit of Big Alec, during which Charley and I kept a sharp watch on him.
Big Alec has a Chinese line out in the bight off Turner's Shipyard," Charley Le Grant said that afternoon to Carmintel.
Well, then," and Charley's eyes glittered in a determined way, "we've got to capture Big Alec between us, you and I, and we've got to do it in spite of Carmintel.
This meant that we must take Big Alec on the open water, where he could see us coming and prepare for us one of the warm receptions for which he was noted.
Slack water had come, and as we dropped around the end of the Solano Wharf we saw Big Alec at work, running his line and removing the fish.
I nodded, and we kept silent after that, the boat slipping gently through the water and Big Alec growing nearer and nearer.