In Reply to: Too clever by half posted by Fred Helmholz on January 04, 2009 at 09:28:
: "Too clever by half". It would seem that the current meaning is that the excessive cleverness has undermined the result that the cleverness was intended to achieve. So what's the origin or am I wrong about the current usage?
I'd say that that was one current meaning. You can still say that somebody is "too clever by half" and simply mean that he's far too clever to be trustworthy. (VSD)