all passion, no street smarts

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A: She's been working a desk in Internal Affairs for what... a little over a year now.
B: She disposed of three cases in two years. (...) She's not cut out for litigation. (...) In Internal Affairs she can crawl up a lawyer's ass with the best of them. But when it comes to trial work--
C: I know, I know — all passion, no street smarts.
A Few Good Men, movie

In your opinion, what does this bolded part mean?
Last edited:
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s clearly a reference to her lack of aptitude for litigation work, meaning she exhibits a lot of passion (presumably in court) but doesn’t get how the criminal mind works (assuming that’s what the reference to street smart implies).

    The construction is of course based on the colloquial “all mouth and no trousers” and its many variants.
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