Green’s Dictionary of Slang

smart adj.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

smart aleck

see separate entries.


see separate entries.


see under smart-arse.

smart bucks (n.) (also smart dollar) [buck n.3 (4)]

(US Und.) money gained through crime.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 199/1: Smart buck or dollar. Money obtained by cleverness, skill or guile.
[US]C. Hamilton Men of the Und. 289: While the smart bucks are rolling in, the average crook never gives a thought to reform.
Palm Beach Post (FL) 17 Aug. 49/1: [headline] ‘Smart bucks’ is chump’s change to disguise what is suspected.
smart eye (v.)

(US) to stare in a challenging manner.

[US]Eminem ‘Drug Ballad’ [lyrics] You have the right to remain violent and start wilin’ / Start a fight with the same guy that was smart eyin’ you.
[US] M. McBride Frank Sinatra in a Blender [ebook] The fuck with the handlebar mustache was gone, but two of his buddies were giving me the smart eye.
smart fart (n.) [fart n. (2)]

(Aus./N.Z.) one who considers themselves clever.

[Aus]A. Buzo Front Room Boys Scene viii: Bit of a smart fart, eh?
[Aus]A. Buzo Macquarie 11: Yeah, thats been said, smart fart.
R. Bausch Take Me Back 14: You’re a smart fart for an eleven year-old kid.
P. Carter Double Dare 116: You got him out there, smart fart. You can watch him.
M.G. Cannon The Seer 14: Better play it straight, hey? This dude must be one smart fart!
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 193: smart fart A know-it-all From 1930s.
smart guy (n.) (also smart gee)

a knowledgable individual, or one who believes themselves to be.

Engineer 13 June 553/1: What makes me want to rest, it is to have some smart guy come into the engine room and tell me that he has learned all there is to learn.
[US]A.H. Lewis Apaches of N.Y. 242: There’s nothin’ in that high society stuff. A smart guy like me could learn his way t'rough in a week.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 23: I waded right through the curriculum of crime [...] I was an apt pupil and a smart guy.
[US]G.T. Fleming-Roberts ‘The Silenced Partner’ in Ten Detective Aces Oct. [Internet] We’re a couple of smart guys [...] Didn’t we clean up near fifty grand.
[US]J. Archibald ‘When a Body Meets a Body’ in Popular Detective Sept. [Internet] He was a smart gee an’ they never could pin any thin’ on him.
[US]D. Dressler Parole Chief 15: ‘All right, smart guy!’ he sneered.
[US]E. De Roo Go, Man, Go! 76: That’s from thinking other drivers could crack up, but it wouldn’t happen to me. I was a smart guy.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 70: Some smart guys who think they’re wise, / but they can’t conquer their downfall.
smart mouth

see separate entries.

smart play (n.)

(US teen) a good-looking, popular individual.

[US]Baltimore Sun (MD) Sun. Mag. 4 Dec. 9/1: Twitter MacAfee was the smart play of Blight Area 12, but although she pounded some ground at most of the blasts with Bugsy, the kook always blew the pad with a grub.
smart stuff (n.)

1. (US teen) a show-off.

Baltimore Sun 22 June Magazine 6/5: Smart stuff . . . show off.

2. (US black) deceitful, underhand activity.

[US]C. Major Juba to Jive.

In phrases

book smart (adj.)

(US campus) academically high-flying, but low on common sense and social skills; also as n., one who reads and studies.

[US]P. Munro Sl. U. 43: That girl is really book smart — she gets straight As, but she forgot she had to enroll for next quarter’s classes.
[US]D. Gaines Teenage Wasteland 97: Many were suspicious and resentful of ‘book smarts.’ Nobody in my home ‘read’; we watched television.
half-smart (adj.)

(US) stupid or reckless.

Oregon Dly Jrnl (Portland, OR) 21 June 21/3: Patricia Goldsmith , the central figure of ‘Half-Smart Set,’ a novel.
in D. Hammett Big Knockover 322: Don’t get the idea he’s half-smart. He’s dangerous.
[US]F. Riesenberg Waterfront Reporter 47: Ogle gets some half-smart ideas, but he doesn’t lie [HDAS].
[US]Spin Feb. 57/1: Ernest P. Worrell is a throwback to [...] every half-smart half-assed hayseed in the history of American comed.
E. Naughton Hale’s Gate 44: He’s about half-smart, I know, but he's basically harmless.
smart as… (adj.)

see separate entry.

smarted up (adj.)

(US) informed, aware.

[US]D. Hammett Red Harvest (1965) 21: I come all the way down here to rope you, and you’re smarted up.
smart off (v.)

(US black) to cheek, to ‘backtalk’.

[UK]W. Talsman Gaudy Image (1966) 34: ‘You want a fist?’ ‘Naw, why?’ ‘Keep smartin’ off, and you’ll get one.’.
[UK](con. 1940s) D. MacCuish Do Not Go Gentle (1962) 170: Don’t smart off with me, Gilman.
[US]W.T. Vollmann Royal Family 306: You smarting off to me, bitch?
smart someone up (v.) (also smarten, smarten up)

(US) to pass over information, to explain.

[US]Wash. Times (DC) 21 Aug. 4/4: He smarts himself up on the parlor tricks that a dame falls for.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Assistant Murderer’ in Nightmare Town (2001) 139: If you think this is a nice place to talk about whatever you want to talk about, go ahead! But if you’re counting on me talking, too, you’d better smart me up.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 173: Smarten Up. – To advise or explain to; to detail a plan. An individual is said to be smart when knowing, wise or experienced, hence the application of the phrase.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 199/1: Smarten up. 1. To become, or to help another to become, sophisticated in the lore of the underworld.
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 212: Terry had been sweating out whether or not to smarten him.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 818: smarten up – To advise or explain to.
street smart (adj.)

see separate entry.