When someone has a sense of, or knows how to handle themselves in a rough neighbourhood or ghetto. People can be street smart regardless of their style. It usualy depends on where or how they were raised. It also can mean how well someone can handle themselves in an unfamiliar neighbourhood or city streets.
Christos the greek wasn't a thug but he was raised in a ghetto neighbourhood and was street wise. He had no problem walking through a rough neighbourhood at night.
On the other hand Steve the wigger considered himself a thug but was raised in a fairly rich, high class neighbourhood. He wasn't street wise and when he needed to walk through the projects he was so afraid he almost shit his pants and took a cab home instead.
1. To be wise in the ways of the life in a large metropolitan area.
2. (Derogatory) (To be said of a stupid person) To know what street one lives on.
1. He's lived in Detroit all his life. He's very streetwise.
2. Matt's not completely stupid, at least he's streetwise.
Someone who can squabble, knows the slang of the street, and respects the "criminal world"'s laws
I'ma streetwise because of the place where I'm from
A person who is wise on a street level. Due to this they are usually quite short so they are closer to the streets. Their outfit of choice is based around a oversized parkas that make them look like drug dealers. Additionally, they generally possess strong colloquial accents so as to fit in with urban culture and come from crime families so look out for particularly cool mothers.
person 1: which cat ellis?
person 2: you know, streetwise cat!
person 1: ooooh, i know who you're talking about now