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. © 2022 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 classic literature ?
'Speakun' o' Auckland--of course, Captun, you was never un Auckland?' 'Yus,' I says, 'I was un there very recent.' 'Oh, ho,' he says, very angry-like, 'so you was the smart Aleck thot fetched me thot letter from the owners: "We note item of fufteen pounds for pilotage ot Auckland.
"Quit being smart alecks. People on social media, you think you know it all?
When noted onTwitterthat, as we had feared, there was an extra winner, Alecks Puerta,@alecks_puerta, asked: "The draw is being televised LIVE, paano kaya nila manipulate ang winner?" Javier Gris,@JavierGris_, chimed in: "Sa Amerika kasi ipinakita ang nanalo ng winning ticket sa TV.
If there were 'terror teachers' in school when we were growing up, then there must have been their student counterparts-smart alecks nobody liked because they acted like they knew everything.
Alice, her father, and her friends are all lovable smart alecks, which elevates a fairly basic plot.
Using laundered language, the Germans describe their treatment of the local Jews, including how they punished them over thoughts of escape, and their use of brutal methods to extract information from the "smart alecks" among them.
Places are limited and must be booked in advance by calling Gemma Alecks on 0191 203 4105.
Kraemer isnAAEt the worst offender in a field full of smart alecks who believe that operas must be updated to go down with a modern audience.
To book ring Gemma Alecks on 0191-203415 DIARY DATES SATURDAY: Ferryhill and District Juniors fish a Match on Shafto's.
And in answer to the smart alecks who asked "How many of your reports are up there?" He's only got up to 1931 and has another 79 years to go.
Novices are challenged to persist, while hardcore gamers - smart Alecks - find enough to stay interested.
Rugby men don't possess a sympathetic ear for smart alecks, and that is what our Gav is now perceived to be after his controversial autobiography.
He lives in Berkshire with his wife Alecks and two sons and can be seen in Chris Barrie's Massive Engines on the Discovery Channel.
Lives: With his wife Alecks in a farmhouse in Berkshire.
Before any of you smart alecks suggest it must have been in the car park, let me say it was on the pitch, under the closed roof, dressed in the full Wales strip.