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50 Quotes Revealing What Smart Women Think
The history of the word smart reveals why many of its synonyms are different in meaning. For example, smart can mean sensible or sarcastic, intelligent or insolent, dashing or disrespectful, ritzy or rude. (See history below.)
However, our working definition for this article is the Merriam-Webster 20th century meaning: showing intelligence or good judgment.
Here are sample quotes (all from women) of what smart women think about themselves, other women, beauty and fashion, men, mass media, children and youth.
Pretty -- and Smart
History of Meaning of "Smart"
The first known use of the word was in the 13th century, originating from the Old English smeortan; or the Old High German smerzan, meaning:
Verb – to cause or be the cause of a sharp stinging pain; to feel or have such a pain.
Adjective – quick, active, clever (from the notion of “cutting” with wit or words).
In the 18th century, smart appeared as a slang meaning:
Adjective – sharp, fashionable, stylish.
In the 20th century, phrases like smart cookie, smart bombs, and smarts meaning “good sense” became regular usage. Now, smart and women are a perfect fit.
- Just because I don't have a college degree doesn't mean I am not smart. - Emma Stone
- Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must . . . reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression. - Margaret Sanger
- You can be this super-successful woman who's smart and effective but still feminine. - Ruzwana Bashir
- There are those individuals who are intimidated by really smart, talented people. But for me, surrounding yourself with great talent is the key to success. – Monika Chiang
- I do think women can . . . probably have it all. But you might have to wait a while. - Gail Sheehy
- Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health . . . We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own “to do” list. - Michelle Obama
- Anything is possible if we're only clever enough, smart enough, work hard enough. - Elizabeth McGovern
- People are sexy when they have a sense of humor, when they are smart, when they have some sense of style, when they are kind, when they express their own opinions, when they are creative, when they have character. - Suzanne Vega
- I only do what my gut tells me to. I think it's smart to listen to other people's advice, but at the end of the day, you're the only one who can tell you what's right for you. - Jennifer Lopez
- You have to be smart enough not to dismiss where you came from. It may not be all we are, but it makes up for a great deal. - Julia Roberts
- When I stopped thinking of other women as competition to me and started thinking about them as my partners in life . . . my whole experience of life changed. - America Ferrera
- I definitely am drawn to strong females who are successful, smart women because I am a woman like that. - Megalyn Echikunwoke
- We all want to get along well with other people, and one way to do this is to help people feel good about themselves. - Gretchen Rubin
- Nobody knows what a woman feels or experiences but another woman. We are the nurturers, and there are times when we need to be nurtured. - Dana Plato
- We have all made mistakes. . . We all have had time to reflect and reform and as long as life continues, we are afforded that opportunity every single day. - Shira Hirschman Weiss
- You are not being hurt by the way people think about you. Many of those people are a reflection of how you think about yourself. - Shannon L. Alder
- There's something brave and touching about game girls of all ages keeping themselves smart in hard times. - Julie Burchill
- I don't understand how some of these young actresses are wearing such provocative, editorial items, when they haven't even established a career yet. . . I'm not so sure that's smart in the long run. - Allison Williams
- There is no better taste than this: someone else's laughter in your mouth. - Maggie Stiefvater
- Tell little girls they are smart, funny, or interesting instead of pretty. Chances are, they get the pretty thing a lot . . . in fact, tell big girls the same thing. - Alida Nugent
Beauty and Fashion
- Smart beauty is about looking your best and feeling your best and never overpaying for it. - Stacy London
- Develop your smarts by studying something like math. Then you'll make much better decisions on the brands of clothing that you buy or whatever it is that you want. - Danica McKellar
- In design as in life, smart can also mean wise, kind, inspiring - and cost-effective. And that has a charm all its own. - Nancy Gibbs
- My definition of 'sexy' has changed as I've gotten older. And being smart and informed makes me feel sexier than any outfit. - Sarah Shahi
- You can be plain and smart, or pretty and smart. . . You just have to be yourself. - Ashley Tisdale
- Men really prefer reasonably attractive women; they go after the sensational ones to impress other men. - Mignon McLaughlin
- People think at the end of the day that a man is the only answer [to fulfillment]. Actually a job is better for me. - Princess Diana
- A guy wants a classy girl who is smart and has goals - someone that he wouldn't be afraid to bring home to his parents. - Victoria Justice
- You'll never catch a man if you let him think you are too smart. - Anna Held
- No woman should ever marry a man who hated his mother. - Martha Gelhorne
- It's good to let God pick a man for you. We don't do so well when we pick them ourselves. - Deb Caletti
- No one wants perfection. I want a confident, smart guy . . . who doesn't have all the answers. We gals like a guy we can help because, ultimately, we like being needed. - Daniela Ruah
- You can't own a human being. . . Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? - Toni Morrison
- If you have to convince someone to stay with you, then they have already left. - Shannon L. Alder
- Man . . . He on your box of grits, in your head, and all over the radio. He try to make you think he everywhere. Soon as you think he everywhere, you think he God. But he ain't. - Alice Walker
- Part of having a social media strategy is being smart about whom you follow . . . Figure out who needs to know you exist. - Michelle Phan
- On the Internet, everybody has an opinion about everything, but if you're smart, you know when to keep your mouth shut. – Rachel Sklar
- Sometimes I listen to songs by very smart writers who assume that the world is a civil place with certain formalities that people follow . . . My own experience tells me that life is not like that. - Suzanne Vega
- It is extremely important to be safe, smart, and responsible when it comes to sharing, discussing, and managing your finances online. - Alexa Von Tobel
- We need to be smarter than our smart phones and realize the people we are with are . . . way more important than the strangers we hope will tweet and like and share and Instagram whatever we're sending out into the cybersphere. - Regina Brett
What kind of smart are you?
Which "smart" synonym fits you best?
Children and Youth
- Kids are smart. Knowledge is power. Let them figure things out. Don't turn into that grown-up who they won't come to. – Lauren Myracle
- Kids are smart: don't underestimate their bull detector. Contemporary kids have access to a lot of information, so don't even try to fool them . . . they pick up every single error. - Isabel Allende
- Babies are smart. They can tell the difference between a responsive face and a blank face, wiped clean of emotion. - Madeleine M. Kunin
- Show your kids that needs and wants are two different things. The best way to teach our kids to be smart consumers - and savvy savers - is to model good behavior for them.- Jean Chatzky
- Pretty isn't the only thing that matters - but all daughters should hear from their moms that they look pretty once in a while. - Meg Cabot
- As parents we have to . . . strengthen our children to be comfortable with themselves and also to show empathy and acceptance towards others. - Heather Wilson
- I'm a smart girl. There are decisions that I make for reasons, and the most important thing is that my son is happy and he always will be. He's surrounded by love. - Christina Aguilera
- Nobody talks about how Puffy went to Howard University or about Lil Wayne attending the University of Houston. All the young kids know is what they see on the videos. They don't realize that these guys have taken managerial and business courses. . . They're very smart. - Yolanda Adams
- I'm raising two girls, and I say to them, 'I need you to be strong and soft. You can be smart and beautiful... You can be all of these things.' - Maria Shriver
- Maybe we need to re-engage our smart, energetic youth around the world to be farmers and find fresh, green technologies that will feed the world more fresh greens. - Ellen Gustafson
© 2016 Dora Weithers