Smart Alec

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Smart Alec : Phrases


A somewhat conceited, know-it-all person; someone who makes wisecrack comments.


smart Alec. My toupee is none of your business.


Smart Alec dates back to mid-19th century America. Regarding the identity of Alec, most American dictionaries point to Alec Hoag, a notorious pimp and thief who operated in New York in the 1840s. He operated a trick called The Panel Game where he would sneak in via gaps in the walls and steal the valuables of his sleeping or unwary clients. The reputation he generated for not getting caught earned him the nickname Smart Alec.

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