Ben
Lv 6

Is "smart-aleck" more like a positive term or a negative term?

13 Answers

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  • 3 weeks ago

    The term itself is derogatory, but as always, WHAT you call someone is less important than HOW you say it. You could certainly accuse a friend of being a "smart-aleck' but in a laughing, friendly way, and they wouldn't take offence.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Derogatory in adult English conversation: "An obnoxiously conceited and self-assertive person with pretensions to smartness or cleverness." Therefore affirmative within the context of rebellious youth peer pressure where the baddest bad boy rules.

  • 3 weeks ago

    I think this is a positive opinion

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    It's negative, but it can be used in a friendly way as well, to say that the person is witty.

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  • D50
    Lv 6
    3 weeks ago

    It might be indirectly positive for a child. You might approve of the kid's confidence and knowledge, but it will still acknowledge that the kid is annoying.

  • 3 weeks ago

    mostly negative, and is similar to "wise-guy", and it means that the person is being "smart" to cause problems.  It is calling it the misuse of intelligence for a bad purpose or stupid reason.  Being annoying on purpose.  Why aleck (Alex)?  I don't actually know.  Stupid Sam, smart-aleck? Came out of somewhere in the past.

  • RP
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    It is a critical term applied to persons who are too clever. Since it is not complimentary, it can be seen as negative.

  • John P
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    For me in Britain, definitely a negative term, for at least the last 60 years.

    To 'Son of T3': - I have never heard of it being applied to a young child, but it would still be negative for me if it were applied to a young child.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Negative.  It's a less pejorative term for smart a**.  It means a know it all who really knows nothing.

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    No it is derogatory - nobody likes a smart alec.

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