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Smart as paint

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on April 06, 2006

In Reply to: Smart as paint posted by lewis rosenbaum on April 06, 2006

: does anyone know the origin of the phrase used by long john silver in treasure island when praising jim hawkins you're a "smart as paint"

It simply means that Jim is smart (clever) just as anything freshly painted is smart (neat and well-looking). It's a sort of pun on the two meanings of "smart".