alec


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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

BRITISH or

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 classic literature ?
We watched our chance, and the next low-water slack, after Big Alec had removed the fish from the line and returned ashore, we went out in the salmon boat.
I looked at the shore, but could see no sign of Big Alec, who was undoubtedly hidden in some rocky nook with us at his mercy.
The bullets ceased at once, and we sailed away, unpleasantly confident that Big Alec was laughing at our discomfiture.
Charley's face went black with anger; but beyond promising Big Alec that in the end he would surely land him behind the bars, he controlled himself and said nothing.
But Charley refused to be angered, though he told me in confidence that he intended to capture Big Alec if it took all the rest of his life to accomplish it.
The speck of a boat grew larger and larger, till we could see Big Alec and his partner, with a turn of the sturgeon line around a cleat, resting from their labor to laugh at us.
We came foaming down abreast of the skiff, so close that we could hear above the wind the voices of Big Alec and his mate as they shouted at us with all the scorn that professional watermen feel for amateurs, especially when amateurs are making fools of themselves.
I saw Big Alec dive overboard and his mate leap for our bowsprit.
"That fixes his rifle," I heard Charley mutter, as he sprang upon the deck to look for Big Alec somewhere astern.
Big Alec's black head and swarthy face popped up within arm's reach; and all unsuspecting and very angry with what he took to be the clumsiness of amateur sailors, he was hauled aboard.
The next instant, to the perplexity and consternation of the owner, Charley was on top of Big Alec in the cockpit, and I was helping bind him with gaskets.
Alec's boyhood home was Scotswood Road in Newcastle where he was born in 1907, but he later settled in Wingrove Road in Fenham.
J.D.'s halter was attached to Alec's wheelchair with zip ties so in case the steer spooked he would not be dragged.
ALEC describes itself as "America's largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators," connecting state lawmakers with "experts" to "discuss business and economic issues facing the states." But to its critics, ALEC represents a dangerous corporate influence on public policy and a way for corporate America to write and disseminate laws.
Meanwhile, producer Steve Higgins believes Alec Baldwin has been put under more "pressure" in comparison to Tina Fey -- who previously portrayed politician Sarah Palin on the show -- as people believe the star is "the only hope" left.