Lady Rougepen Says: Don’t Be a Smart Aleck

The origins of “smart aleck” are interesting. I was also quite curious as to how we got this word for someone cocky. Admit it: you are, too. Here goes:

New York suffered from a rash of thefts in hotel rooms the 1840s. The thief’s name? Alec Hoag. Even though he bragged about his exploits all over The Big Apple, police couldn’t catch him. He was always a step ahead of authorities, and they gave him the moniker “Smart Alec.” Thus, a wily or arrogant person is referred to as a “smart aleck.” It’s a more polite term than “smart a**.”

Cool, huh? Do you know of any other terms we use that are derived from someone’s name. “Platonic” immediately comes to mind from the ancient Greek, Plato. Let’s talk!

Sean C. Wright is the author of 8 books. For more information about her writing skills and how she can assist you with yours–business or consumer–visit


I’m pleased to announce the release of my 8th book, Skoll’s Diary.

Africans and African Americans left Earth in 1900, and went to another planet in The Milky Way to escape mistreatment…

It’s now the year 3005 on that terraformed planet. We get a peek into the life of a bright and sensitive teenaged boy, Skoll, through his journal. He loves his world, but is curious about life on Earth. Then suddenly, an epic event casts him in the middle of a difficult decision. The fate of the planet’s community is in his hands.

Get the book here. I’d appreciate your leaving a review if you read it. Thanks in advance!

Afro-Sean-Commission-Final copy

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