A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 04, 2017
“Street smart is something dumb people say when they want to use the word “smart‘“

What is “street smart”? On the American television comedy series My Name Is Earl ("Nature’s Game Show” episode that aired on November 20, 2008), Joy and Darnell argued about smarts:

JOY: I’m the kind of smart that people care about. - the kind that matters the street.
DARNELL: What kind is that?
JOY: Street smart, dumbass, which clearly you’re not or you’d have known that.
DARNELL: “Street smart” is just something dumb people say when they want to use the word “smart” to describe themselves.


Darnell’s quote has become popular, although the source of the “street smart” saying is usually not identified.


Wiktionary: street-smart
Etymology
Backformation from street smarts
Adjective
street-smart
‎(comparative more street-smart, superlative most street-smart)
1. Having practical rather than theoretical knowledge, such as what is learned on the streets rather than in the classroom

IMDb (The Internet Movie Database)
My Name Is Earl (2005–2009)
Nature’s Game Show

TV-PG | 22min | Comedy | Episode aired 20 November 2008
Season 4 | Episode 11
During a series of tornadoes in Camden County, Earl loses his list, Randy believes that he has super powers, Catalina finds religion, and Joy and Darnell argue over Joy’s intelligence.
Director: Eyal Gordin
Writers: Gregory Thomas Garcia (created by) (as Greg Garcia), Hunter Covington

AceShowbiz
My Name Is Earl
Episode 4.11 : Nature’s Game Show

Home > TV > M > My Name Is Earl > Episode Guide
My Name Is Earl
Episode Premiere : November 20, 2008
Distributor : NBC
Genre : Comedy
Seasons : 4
Show Period : 2005 - 2009
Production Company: Amigos de Garcia Prod., Fox TV
Official Site : http://www.nbc.com/My_Name_Is_Earl/
(...)
Joy and Darnell continue their smart argument. Joy claims that she’s street smart. Darnell counters: that’s something dumb people say when they want to use the word smart to describe themselves. Joy wonders how smart Darnell will feel when he doesn’t have a place to sleep tonight.

Springfield! Springfield!
My Name Is Earl Episode Scripts
N/A - s04e11

(...)
I’m the kind of smart that people care about.
- the kind that matters the street.
- What kind is that? Street smart, dumbass, which clearly you’re not or you’d have known that.
“Street smart” is just something dumb people say when they want to use the word “smart” to describe themselves.
Dumb people, huh? Okay, Mr. Genius.

Twitter
Jonathan Katz
‏@katzmandu
“street smart” is just something dumb people say so they can use the word smart.
7:11 PM - 20 Nov 2008

Twitter
EarlyMorningTony
‏@EarlisDead
Street smart is a word dumb people say when they want to use smart to describe themself.
7:18 PM - 20 Nov 2008

Twitter
Travis Tingley
‏@ttingley
@locustfist street smart is just something dumb people say when they want to use the word smart to describe themselves
10:12 PM - 20 Nov 2008

Inside Hoops—Off the Court Lounge
My Name is Earl quotes
Manute for Ever!
Old 04-25-2009, 07:53 AM
Darnell: Street smart is just something dumb people say when they want to use the word smart to describe themselves.

Urban Dictionary
Street Smart
A phrase dumb people use whenever they want to use the word “smart” to describe themselves.
Dave- Hey, have you read this book?
Mark- Naw man i’m street smart naw book smart.
Dave- You’re a fucking dumbass

#street #smart #dumb #ass #describe
by sirius911 October 01, 2009

Grouchy Rabbit (May 15, 2012)
DEFINITION
I’m street smart not book smart (phrase) - Something that dumb people say to make themselves feel better about themselves.

Twitter
Men’s Humor
‏@MensHumor
Street Smart...that’s something dumb people say when they want to use the word “smart” to describe themselves.
2:00 PM - 14 May 2014

Funny Status
Street Smart…that’s something dumb people say when…
May 14, 2014 Misc. Status Updates
Street Smart…that’s something dumb people say when they want to use the word “smart” to describe themselves.

Reddit—Shower Thoughts
When someone says “I’m not book smart, I’m street smart”, all I’m hearing is you’re not smart.
submitted October 12, 2016 by WIPackerGuy

Twitter
Bill Murray
‏@BiIIMurray
Street Smart…that’s something dumb people say when they want to use the word “smart” to describe themselves.
10:29 AM - 8 Dec 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Saturday, February 04, 2017 • Permalink