clever

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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 ?
Delamayn will be cleverer than I take him to be, if he gets much of his friend's company
It was cleverer to have marked down the Flying Stars and the very day of Fischer's coming.
Davies (right) brought a bruising honesty to the pitch, but was a far cleverer footballer than ever given credit for.
SPIN-off show Big Brother's Bit On The Side is, as ever, much cleverer than the main Channel 5 show.
The site's Amazing Moments section will publish new compelling Natural History clips every day, debuting with Attack of the Praying Mantis ; the Discoveries strand will propose answers to fascinating questions like Are Dolphins Cleverer than Dogs?
Ailsa Gupwell, 31, of South Gosforth, said: "I think there are cleverer ways to get back at people, so I don't think it's something I could bring myself to do.
is headlining a concert marking the start of the Commonwealth Games hasn't pleased ever yone but I think the organisers are cleverer than we think.
For some time now melting ice at the North Pole has made our operation and our day-to-day life intolerable and impossible and there may be no alternative but to cancel Christmas" Jim Carter, who plays the butler in Downton Abbey, speaks out as Greenpeace's Santa Claus "Happiness is driving in the dark with only the odd sheep for company" Welsh singer Cerys Matthews, pictured "There is a perception that everyone else is cleverer and more handsome than you are.
However, according to Patrick Arkle, area technical director of Miller Homes, the plan is cleverer than that.
Along with other projects, the project Cleverer Kiez will be presented.
Most blokes I know think they are cleverer than their wives and their wives are smart enough to let them carry on believing that.
As a worst-case question, we can ask: "If computers get cleverer than humans, what is the point of human beings?
But the drug lords seem to be getting cleverer at hiding their money.
Corrigan, whose runners have finished runner-up in the two previous finals here at Colwick Park, said: "She's been a very slow developer but is now trapping better and she's getting cleverer.
He's ever so slightly cleverer than everybody else on the planet, so he's ideally placed to front this bold new show, which suggests Channel 4 is taking itself seriously again.