Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How would you categorize the differences between a nerd and a geek?

11 comments:

John said...

See the classic SNL skit "Geek, Dweeb, or Spaz"

John said...

There's lots of over lap. A nerd seems to signify some with a very specialized nerdom (e.g. comic book nerd, star trek nerd, political nerd, baseball nerd), a geek is like a nerd utility man...not one with a specialization but can play many position on the nerd field well.

With my baseball comparison, I've outed myself as a baseball nerd.

sara said...

i think that a nerd is inherently intelligent... while a geek can just be knowledgable about one subject.. like a trekkie, is a geek/

Beth D said...

this is hard. I view these as distinct categories but it is hard to say why.

I think that being a geek is slightly more extreme than being a nerd. Being a nerd is kinda cool now, whereas I think geeks are still not quite as mainstream.

also, "nerd" is just a much more common term...

fun fact did you know that the first document use of the word "nerd" was in Dr. Seuss's "If I Ran the Zoo?"

(does that make me a geek or a nerd?)

Battgirl said...

Didn't geek originally mean a circus freak who bites the heads off chickens?

The term nerd usually seems to come with a modifier before it... you can be a movie nerd, a sports nerd, an art nerd (tho I prefer the term art dork!). Don't know if geek is quite that versital.

Cate said...

a geek is someone who is way too into a hobby or movie or book or sport or area of interest, etc. one "geeks out" over their obsession.

a nerd is someone who may or may not be socially awkward, but usually is socially awkward. they appreciate dry, intellectual stuff.

Ryan said...

Nerd entails some amount of intelligence, especially in a certain subject matter. When I think of a Geek, I think of a weirdo who may or may not be smart: i.e. Dwight from the Office.

andrew said...

Here's an example: A nerd knows the parabolic trajectory needed to successfully flip a cup in flip cup. A geek will tell you what the parabolic trajectory is and how he/she calculated it.

Mayor Bloomberg is a geek.

Karen said...

i find this discussion fascinating, which i think makes me a nerd. i have often been called a nerd, but never a geek. and i have been called a nerd both with modifier (stats nerd) and without. to me, geek conjures more of a visual image, i.e. glasses, lack of any noticeable muscle tone, pallor, bad hair, says bizarre and creepy things. I think Dwight is a perfect example.

I agree with others who say that nerd implies some real intelligence or knowledge while geek is more general personality and limited social functionality. but maybe that's because i don't want to say anything too bad about nerds since i am one.

Dan said...

Nerd has a connotation of endearment, geek has a connotation of disdain. So I guess a nerd is a bookish awkward person you love, and a geek is a bookish awkward person you loathe.

pinchie said...

I think the fact that we all like this discussion makes us nuance nerds!