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smart aleck

[al-ik] /ˈæl ɪk/
noun
1.
an obnoxiously conceited person.
2.
a wise guy.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65, Americanism; generic use of Aleck, nickname for Alexander
Related forms
smart-alecky, smart-aleck, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for smart alecky

smart aleck

/ˈælɪk/
noun (pl) smart alecks
1.
(informal) an irritatingly oversmart person
Derived Forms
smart-aleck, smart-alecky, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Aleck, Alec, short for Alexander
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for smart alecky

smart aleck

n.

1865, of unknown origin, perhaps in reference to Aleck Hoag, notorious pimp, thief, and confidence man in New York City in early 1840s [Barnhart]. See smart (adj.). Related: Smart-alecky.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for smart alecky

smarmy

adjective
  1. Smooth and flattering; unctuously ingratiating; fulsome: a rather smarmy doctor and a highly officious nurse
  2. Rich and sonorous; orotund and fruity; plummy: an announcer with a smarmy voice
  3. Smug and self-righteous: Uncle Sam's Smarmy Look Into Employee Sex Lives

[1924+; origin unknown; since the earliest attested uses have to do with hair oil, it may be a vague blend of smooth, smear, palm oil, cream, etc]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with smart alecky

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.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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