We sometimes explain different kinds of ‘smarts’ (that is, intelligence) by using the expressions ‘street smart’ and ‘book smart’. A ‘book-smart’ person (or a person who ‘has book smarts’) has a lot of general knowledge. A ‘street-smart’ person (or a person who ‘has street smarts’) can survive or do well in dangerous situations in the city. Street smart people know how to avoid getting robbed, hurt or taken advantage of.
A: I feel so stupid! I can’t understand this book!
B: You’re not stupid. You’re street smart. Remember when I almost bought that used car, but you made me check the engine first?
A: Yeah, that guy was over-charging you. I could see he was lying.
B: Exactly! You can read people’s faces, and you know how to survive. You’re street smart!
Are you street smart or book smart? Or both?