General Question

applesaucemanny's avatar

Shouldn't wise guy and wise man mean the same thing?

Asked by applesaucemanny (1775points) May 30th, 2009

I mean when they call you wise guy it’s usually a bad thing such as when someone says something and you come up with a witty comeback they say “okay wise guy”. But when you say something really smart they’d call you wise man.

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10 Answers

Jude's avatar

and they’re all coming out of the wookwork

_bob's avatar

What are you, some kind of wise guy? Oh, erm, nevermind.

willbrawn's avatar

Looks like you answered your own question. Not sure why they do that, wise guy.

MacBean's avatar

Only if they start calling cream puffs and eclairs the same thing, too.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I think ‘wise guy’ started off as a sarcastic term…it kind of still is…

YARNLADY's avatar

The term ‘guy’ is a slang word, and therefore much more likely to be a bad thing, as in ‘wise guy’, but the term ‘man’ is respectable by itself, and when paired with ‘wise’ becomes a compliment.

bea2345's avatar

Literally, the two phrases are identical. But in English, especially American English, “guy” has a different set of meanings from those of “man”. Check out the dictionary. The example I like best is by Lazs Mouse: “A wise man speaks from knowledge and experience, a wise guy just speaks.”

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Wise man: brings gifts to newborn messiah after interpreting celestial observations.

Wise guy… well… you get the idea….

gailcalled's avatar

Don’t forget wisenheimer and wiseacre.

One who is obnoxiously self-assertive and arrogant: malapert, witling. Informal know-it-all, saucebox, smart aleck, smarty, smarty-pants. Slang: wiseacre, wisecracker, wise guy.

wundayatta's avatar

A wise guy is connected; a wise man stays the hell away.

From the mob, ok?

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