smart aleck

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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

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 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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
The diary, the majority of which has not yet been translated into Hebrew, features descriptions of the use of torture in interrogations of Jews who are termed as "smart alecks," arrests of Jews suspected of possessing "prohibited items," and an account of contacts with the Judenrat, a Jewish governing council, from which the officers extracted incriminating inside information against Jews who did not adhere to the strict rules.
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.
Nonfans, however, may recoil from what is essentially a mellifluous stream of blarney, one not too far removed from the other soulful smart alecks Cusack has played in the past.
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.
And here's a radical idea: why not employ entertainers to front Saturday night shows instead of ex-footballers, weather-girls or imported smart alecks?
But serious beliefs should be criticized by serious thinkers, not mocked by smart alecks. I try to be fair.
"We don't bring in a bunch of smart alecks from headquarters to run the thing.