smart aleck

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Related to smart alecks: smart alecs

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 aleck's wisecracks, so I left the party early.
See also: aleck, 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

a smart alec


a smart aleck

A smart alec or a smart aleck is someone who is very clever and who is often able to answer questions in a clever way. Note: People sometimes spell `alec' and `aleck' with capital initials, as names. They've got some smart alec of a lawyer from London to oppose bail. Note: You can use smart alec and smart aleck before a noun. I hate smart-aleck kids who talk like dictionaries. Note: You use this expression to show that you find someone annoying. Note: Alec or Aleck is a shortened form of the name Alexander.
See also: alec, smart

smart alec (or aleck)

a person considered irritating because they know a great deal or always have a clever answer to a question.
From the male personal name Alec, a short form of Alexander.
See also: alec, smart

a ˈsmart alec/aleck

(informal, disapproving) a person who tries to show that they are cleverer than everyone else: Some smart alec wrote in to say that the last edition of the newspaper contained 37 printing errors.
See also: alec, aleck, smart
References in periodicals archive ?
Hancock, on the other hand, laughs when he suggests, ``By now, we might be total smart alecks instead of half-asses.
But serious beliefs should be criticized by serious thinkers, not mocked by smart alecks.
We don't bring in a bunch of smart alecks from headquarters to run the thing.
But the tough experiences deepened her empathy for alienated youth, even smart alecks forced to listen to her presentations.
Literate smart alecks love his Web site McSweeneys.
But with a cast of incorrigible smart alecks that includes Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo and Hank Azaria, the action rarely strays far from Derision City, where it belongs.