The story behind the term "smart alec"

12/31/2012 | MentalFloss.com

The term "smart alec" originally referred to a man named Alec Hoag, a thief who was active in the 1840s, according to research. Along with his wife, Melinda, Hoag would rob people and pay off the police. After his capture, police began to refer to him as "Smart Alec."

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