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Street Smart

Idiom: street smart(s); used as an adjective or noun

Context #1:

Lenny: So Mayra got a new place.

Bruce: Really? Where is it?

Lenny: Over on 4th, kind of near the

Bruce: Isn’t that kind of a bad

Lenny: Yeah, but she’s street smart. She grew up in an area
like that, so she knows how to survive. And she’s saving a ton of money
compared to her last place.

Meaning: The expression street smart means that someone knows how
to survive in dangerous urban areas, usually because they have experience
living in similar areas. The expression can be used as an adjective, as in the
example above, or as the non-count noun street smarts, as in the next example:

Context #2

Don’t go into that neighborhood without any

street smarts; it can be a rough area, and

people walk around with expensive jewelry and talking on expensive
mobile phones are likely to get mugged.

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