smart alec(k)

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smart alec(k)

One who makes jokes and uses sarcasm in an attempt to seem witty, but instead is deemed annoying. I'd had enough of that smart aleck's wisecracks, so I left the party early. Don't be such a smart alec, Sally.
See also: smart
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

smart aleck, a

A cocky individual who thinks he or she knows everything and is not shy about saying so. The origin of this term, an American colloquialism from the 1860s, has been lost; no one knows who that first Aleck (or Alexander) was. The adjective smart in the sense of “impudent” is much older (fifteenth century) but has died out except in this expression. Budd Schulberg used it in What Makes Sammy Run? (1941): “He’s a smart aleck. I can see already he thinks he knows more than I do.”
See also: smart
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
In human aLECs, ACh binds to Ml muscarinic receptors (M1 mAChR) and induces a rise in [[[Ca.sup.2+]].sub.i] [12-14].
At the top of the lefts enemies list: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), They've been one of my top sources in more than 35 years in journalism.
I JUST love to encounter smart alecs like your respondent Eric Ward of Moseley ("Don't let Luddites win").
Having lent to high risk borrowers, the smart alecs went a step further by slicing and dicing their sub-prime loans and selling them on.
One solution designed to do this is the Advanced Locomotive Emission Control System (ALECS) that is now being tested in Union Pacific's 384 Ha, J.R.
Junior: Computers are helpful all around, unless you have kids that want to be smart alecs and go into sites that you're not supposed to look at.
That was a response to Achebe's statement: "Those African writers who have chosen to write in English are not smart alecs with their main chance outside their community.
No doubt all the tactical tricksters and smart alecs will trot out half-baked views about the shape of the side and other opinions.
IT'S out of order the way these smart alecs on the TV highlight every tissue price that the Racing Postgets wrong.
On January 7, 2000, the Premier of Western Australia, Richard Court, said the following about the release of Afghani refugees: "We're not even talking about genuine refugees, we're talking about people who are smart alecs," adding that they "should be turned around straight away." (55) The Minister of Immigration has not been much better, especially in front of domestic audiences.
FROM the makers of Faking It, Wife Swap and Scrapheap Challenge, this sees a studio audience team of 50 contestants attempting to beat ``professional'' smart alecs.
And various smart alecs in Conservative Central Office and elsewhere, most of whom would not make the grade on a parish council, are putting forward grandiose schemes allegedly for the party's welfare.
Caldera Systems Authorized Linux Education Centers (ALECs) offer distribution-neutral Linux training and certification based on LPI certification standards.
Thomas and write one-page reports on them, using an outline we provided; and she was to participate in an employment training program to learn the new computer system called "Alecs."