clever

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Related to cleverest: call for

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 constantly trying to prove their 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, thinking 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

be boxing clever

BRITISH
If someone is boxing clever, they are being very clever and careful in the way they behave in a difficult situation, so that they can get an advantage for themselves. By boxing clever with your personal tax allowances you could save £900 a year.
See also: boxing, clever

too clever by half

If you describe a person or their actions as too clever by half, you mean that they are too clever, in a way that you do not like or in a way that causes problems for them. His many admirers describe him as clever: his enemies as too clever by half. You had to tell the press, didn't you? Too clever by half. Note: Other adjectives are sometimes used instead of clever. He was stylish, angry, and too cool by half.
See also: clever, half

box clever

act so as to outwit someone. British informal
1950 Alexander Baron There's No Home If you box clever and keep your mouth shut…you ought to be able to count on a suspended sentence.
See also: box, clever

too clever by half

annoyingly proud of your intelligence or skill. informal
See also: clever, half

box ˈclever

(British English, informal) act in a clever way to get what you want, sometimes tricking and deceiving somebody: Suzie realized that she had to box clever. She had to let Adam think she trusted him.
See also: box, clever

ˈclever Dick

(also ˈclever clogs) (British English, informal, disapproving) a person who thinks that they are always right or that they know everything: Come on then, clever clogs, tell us the answer! ♢ (ironic) Some clever Dick has parked his car so close to mine I can’t get out!
See also: clever, dick

as ˌclever, ˌstupid, etc. as they ˈcome

very clever, stupid, etc: He’s just about as mean as they come. He wouldn’t even lend me a couple of dollars!
See also: come

too clever, quick, etc. by ˈhalf

(British English, informal, disapproving) much too clever, quick, etc: That boy is too charming by half — he can get you to do anything he wants.I don’t like her at all — she’s too clever by half.
See also: half

none too ˈclever, ˈhappy, ˈquickly, etc.

not at all clever, quickly, etc: The driver was none too pleased about having to leave so early.Her chances of winning are none too good, I’m afraid.
See also: none
References in classic literature ?
The cleverest in the world," interrupted his uncle hastily.
People are calling you the cleverest man in London to-day," she said.
Absorption in a beloved work is practically equivalent to the cleverest dissimulation, and thus it was that the opinions and ideas of Rabourdin were a sealed book to des Lupeaulx.
she continued, "the heart of woman will always remain a secret for even the cleverest of men.
Robert in those days was a grave-faced, serious, small boy, and he and his brother Gilbert were the cleverest scholars in the little school.
He could not have been a moment over twelve or thirteen, yet he was by far the cleverest of the gang.
When she was at school in Devonshire, she was universally allowed to be beyond all exception the very cleverest girl there, and there were a great many very clever ones too, and that's the truth--twenty-five young ladies, fifty guineas a year without the et-ceteras, both the Miss Dowdles the most accomplished, elegant, fascinating creatures-- Oh dear me
Yes; and what else would you expect, I said, when you think of the puny creatures who, seeing this land open to them--a land well stocked with fair names and showy titles--like prisoners running out of prison into a sanctuary, take a leap out of their trades into philosophy; those who do so being probably the cleverest hands at their own miserable crafts?
Now the cleverest thing of the sort that I ever did,' he went on after a pause, 'was inventing a new pudding during the meat- course.
It really is one of the cleverest ideas I have seen.
With his cheeky Australian charm, he introduces "15 of the country's cleverest stars" to face some of the toughest questions.
CHILD GENIUS (Channel 4, Tuesday, 9pm) CHILD Genius returns for a new series with 20 of the country's cleverest eight to 12-year-olds - and their extraordinary parents - battling it out to see who will be crowned Britain's brightest child.
Grant Leadbitter came within centimetres of scoring one of the cleverest free-kicks seen for many a year with his flick up and dipping volley.
IT'S series two of Child Genius (Channel 4, Sunday) and 20 of the most gifted children in the UK - aged between seven and 12 - are battling it out to see who is the cleverest, in a competition run by Mensa.
So where would we be without these inventions and still being used in football today, yet for me the cleverest of the lot has to be the magical free kick spray