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 ?
But I'd like to ask the smart alecs how they would have priced up this well-bred newcomer?
He said: "It looks as though I will be joined by another Healy-Rae and I'll tell you one thing - some of the smart alecs in Dublin will have to pick through him [Danny] first before they get to me.
For me, the best part of this film is afterwards when you hear all the smart alecs who swear they guessed the ruse from the word go or the wiseguys who pick every small detail apart to uncover clues or logical inconsistencies.
The British don't like Smart Alecs and HSBC has performed far too well for its own good.
I'll be with her all the way against these Smart Alecs.
Isn't it all down to whether your mum and dad were smart Alecs?
Smart alecs will also find decent officewear for a reasonable price - pounds 150 all in for a grey check suit, worn here with a flashy white and blue square tie.
So while those smart Alecs who keep the bookies in profit year after year write off Sven's boys so willingly, you and I, the ones with the brains, should keep our chins up.
So certainly no sympathy for those caught out but equally culpable are the financial smart alecs who tell them everything is above board, knowing their clients have not got a clue.
If it's any consolation, it's the same for everyone, even the smart Alecs who write columns in The Journal.
Dixon of Dock Green -who proba bly kept his spare coppers in a sock,if you'll pardon the pun -would have given these smart alecs a clip around the lugs.
'I think it is very important this is seen as a Birmingham store, rather than a bunch of 'smart alecs' coming up from London.'
It's the smart Alecs with their corny chat-up lines who get the girls.
There are plenty of smart Alecs who think they are being all clever by criticising those who bemoan a perpetual winner.
There's always the Smart Alecs who get cheeky, but most of it is just harmless fun.