bright / intelligent / smart

epistolario

Senior Member
Tagalog
Whenever I went to the province as a child, I always heard my deceased grandmothers use the adjective bright when describing intelligent people. But I always hear Americans use the adjective smart. I rarely hear the word intelligent in conversations; I mostly read it. Please correct my impression if I'm wrong: I suppose that bright is an old fashioned adjective commonly used by our American colonizers; smart is normally used in casual conversations; and intelligent can be used in formal or informal contexts, but is not that common.
 
  • Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    A BrE perspective: We use 'intelligent' and 'bright', but hardly use 'smart'. 'Intelligent', with its Latin roots seems a little more formal, and would certainly be more suited to scientific discussions than 'bright. (in my opinion).
     

    Guner

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    A BrE perspective: We use 'intelligent' and 'bright', but hardly use 'smart'. 'Intelligent', with its Latin roots seems a little more formal, and would certainly be more suited to scientific discussions than 'bright. (in my opinion).
    Ditto except that in Australia 'smart' is getting used a lot these days for some usually technology related concepts as well.
    Like 'smart metering' , 'smart network', etc....
    ...and there was always the slang 'smarty pants' for someone who is obnoxiously self-assertive and arrogant.
     
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