clever


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too clever by half

Too contrived or arrogant in one's cleverness or intelligence, to the point of being irritating to others. Primarily heard in UK. I think every adolescent goes through a stage where they become too clever by half and begin to think of themselves as the only person who has things figured out. The phones people use these days are all too clever by half—I can barely even use them to make phone calls!
See also: clever, half

clever clogs

A light-hearted or humorous way to refer to an intelligent or clever person. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. He's such a clever clogs. There is no question he can't answer.
See also: clever, clog

clever boots

A light-hearted or humorous way to refer to an intelligent or clever person. Primarily heard in Australia. Judy's such a clever boots. She solved the puzzle in 30 seconds.
See also: boot, clever

clever dick

A person who irritates others by contantly trying to prove his or her superior intelligence. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Don't be such a clever dick! It's not necessary to correct everyone's grammar all of the time.
See also: clever, dick

box clever

To act skillfully and cunningly or deceitfully to achieve a desired outcome. Primarily heard in UK. The principal is already on to you, so you're going to have to box clever to avoid a suspension.
See also: box, clever

be too clever by half

To be too contrived or arrogant in one's cleverness or intelligence, to the point of being irritating to others. Primarily heard in UK. I think every adolescent goes through a stage of being too clever by half, thnking of themselves as the only person who has things really figured out. The phones people use these days are all too clever by half—I can barely even use them to make phone calls!
See also: clever, half

box clever

  (British)
to behave in a clever and sometimes slightly dishonest way to try to achieve a result you want
Usage notes: A good boxer (= man who fights as a sport) is a person who uses skill as well as strength to win fights.
Obviously he would have to box clever in the witness stand to avoid implicating himself.
See also: box, clever

a clever clogs

  (British & Australian humorous) also a clever boots (Australian humorous)
if you call someone a clever clogs, you mean that they are very clever I bet old clever clogs here knows the answer.
See also: clever, clog

a clever dick

  (British & Australian)
someone who tries too hard to show that they are clever, in a way which annoys other people He's such a clever dick, talking loudly on the phone in lots of different languages.
See also: clever, dick

be too clever by half

  (British)
to be too confident of your own intelligence in a way that annoys other people At school he had a reputation for arrogance. 'Too clever by half' was how one former teacher described him.
See box clever
See also: clever, half
References in classic literature ?
Arthur knew the rector too well to suppose that a clever invention would be of any use, so he said, with his accustomed frankness, "No, I went to look at the pretty butter-maker Hetty Sorrel.
At length a man came from a distance and wooed her, who was called Hans; but he stipulated that Clever Elsie should be really smart.
Men can't bear clever women, and a woman's ideal man is some one she can call a "dear old stupid.
He knew that all the intellectual lights of Petersburg were gathered there and, like a child in a toyshop, did not know which way to look, afraid of missing any clever conversation that was to be heard.
For this fell purpose he had backed the astounded De Vac twice around the hall when, with a clever feint, and backward step, the master of fence drew the King into the position he wanted him, and with the suddenness of lightning, a little twist of his foil sent Henry's weapon clanging across the floor of the armory.
At the same time you might just drop a hint to your wife, and to that remarkably clever young niece of hers, Miss Penelope Morse.
You're a very clever little boy, come to think of it--very clever indeed.
A Fox was boasting to a Cat of its clever devices for escaping its enemies.
the salon assumed a piquant morning look, quite in keeping with the becoming toilet hastily got together by the fugitive; we say it to her glory, for she was evidently a clever woman, in this at least.
She was very beautiful; a more clever, or a more lovely countenance he could not fancy to himself; and she no longer appeared of ice as before, when she sat outside the window, and beckoned to him; in his eyes she was perfect, he did not fear her at all, and told her that he could calculate in his head and with fractions, even; that he knew the number of square miles there were in the different countries, and how many inhabitants they contained; and she smiled while he spoke.
Commonly he was a clever man, and he was inspired tonight with a wild omniscience, a folly wiser than the world, that which comes to a young man who has seen for an instant a particular expression on a particular face.
See here, he knew that in his position he was bound to be suspected, so he conceived the exceedingly clever idea of preparing a lot of manufactured evidence against himself.
One of the clever people belonging to the set had called it "the conscience of Petersburg society.
There have always been the stupid and the clever, the slave and the master, the peasant and the prince.
She's awful clever, and none but a clever one durst say a word to her.