smart aleck

(redirected from smart-aleck)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

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


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 periodicals archive ?
For example, I know that Bush has a good sense of humor, and can't resist a smart-aleck comment now and then, even if it makes him seem a bit more irreverent than some Americans might want a President to be.
Would we ever have conquered disease if some smart-aleck had told Ministers they could raise a packet by slapping a tax on penicillin?
These collisions with the everyday, often in dejected circumstances, reflect the quotidian reality of Italy's disaffected youth: images, objects, performances provide glimpses of the McJob-induced boredom of Italy's Generation X and the smart-aleck counterculture it breeds.
Just think back to the last time you heard a smart-aleck translation of the acronym.
Leave 'em like that" was my typically smart-aleck response.
During the 1980s, he created a rag-tag network of skinheads, soccer hooligans, and smart-aleck youth who paraded around in boots, brown shorts, and flak jackets adorned with illegal swastikas.
We live in the age of Iron Man, where an irrepressible, indomitable smart-aleck, able to verbally and physically parry just about anything, is the exemplar.
Barbra was so sweet, reasonable and warm that one smart-aleck I know said, "And the Emmy goes to.
And to the good people of North Carolina, for their southern hospitality in hosting 125 smart-aleck New Yorkers, we offer in advance our thanks, but most of all, our apologies.
Humbled, the smart-aleck teenager paid his fine and went home a wiser young man.
Since I was young and a smart-aleck, I wrote a parody of it for the school paper.
We've already seen the hubris-blinded Schwarzenegger get a badly needed dose of humility; Nuez's smart-aleck personality moderated slightly and Shelley, the most abusive boss in Sacramento, pushed to resign.
I can't remember why, but I was a smart-aleck kid always teasing my elders and betters.
Despite hard work from Jeremy Kushnier as a smart-aleck teenage outsider in a mid-western town that has banished dancing, Footloose looked as phony as the Burger Blast where much of the action takes place.