- (formerly Scotland, now chiefly Ireland) cleverness
1803, Ignatius Sancho; Joseph Jekyll, Letters of the late Ignatius Sancho, an African, page 140:
- I protest, it is to me the most difficult of things to write to one of your female - geniuses — there is a certain degree of cleverality (if I may so call it), an easy kind of derangement of periods, a gentleman-like — fashionable - careless — see-saw of dialogue — which I know no more of than you do of cruelty.
1868, David Macbeth Moir, The life of Mansie Wauch: tailor in Dalkeith:
- But the time wearing late, and Tammie Bodkin having brought ben the shop-key, after putting on the window-shutters, Nanse and I, out of goodfellowship, thought we could not do less than ask the honest man, whose cleverality had diverted us so much, to sit still and take a chack of supper;
1882 March 18, The Lecturer, “BALQUHIDDER IN THE HIGH LANDS.”, in Otago Witness, number 1582, Dunedin, NZ, page 26:
- There there dwelt a robber, much at his ease, because he had with him the only boat on the Loch: so that when he had robbed a passing traveller or party he had only to slide away in his boat to his Mand, where he could enjoy the spoil at his leisure, though an army should be raging for his apprehension on the shore. But we all, know what became of the man who was too clever: he perished of spontaneous combustion, consumed by his own excessive cleverality.
1975 April 10, Doris Eyges, “Beware of being too clever”, in The Christian Science Monitor, page 31:
- "That," said Professor Denis Donoghue, "is what in Ireland is called 'cleverality.'" We had been talking of a contemporary American poet whom I admired for ironic and dazzling wit.
2003 December 7, “The chips are down for Bertie's kebabs - Analysis, Opinion ...”, in Irish Independent:
- The cleverality did not end there as McCreevy decided to borrow some of the old clothes from Tony Blair's spin machine