In the ongoing battle between geek and nerd, one must take sides. But how can this be done without a solid argument for both personas? It’s time to lay all the cards on the table to determine which is better and answer the question some fear to know.
Are you a geek, or a nerd?
The terms geek and nerd may sometimes seem synonymous. but they have very different roots in history.
Geek – While used as a derogatory term originally, the word “geek” gained popularity in the cirus. Circus performers that performed amazing feats were Geeks.
Nerd – This term was coined from Dr. Seuss in 1954 in a line that read “A nerkle, a nerd, and a seersucker too!” – So really nerkle and seersucker are synonymous with nerd.
- Someone with a specific niche interest/lifestyle that they have become the expert on.
- Knowledge can range from mundane to “living encyclopedia” status.
- Can be pretentious and longwinded.
- Wears ironic t-shirts.
- Interests might include gaming, films (both artsy film and anything Will Ferrel Stars in). collecting gadgets/tech computing, coding, hacking, techno music, screen printing, ect.
- A fan gadgets.
Likely Geek Jobs:
- Web Design / Web Development
- IT Professional
- Graphic Designer
- Game Designer / Developer
- Barista at an indie coffee shop
- Record Store
- Extreme interest or fascination with academics
- Socially Inept
- Diverse and sometimes impractical skills due to broad interests in games, movies, science, computers, ect.
- A PC
- Intersts might include; Battlestar Galactica, Second Life, Physics, Chess, Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Computer Programming
Likely Nerd Jobs:
- Rocket Scientist
- Reclusive Professor
- Computer Programmer
- IT Professional
- Or work at a video store
Geeks can fall for and marry non-geeks.
Nerds marry other nerds it’s the natural state of the universe.
You know you’re talking to a geek when they remind you of their “hip” lifestyle by discussing their “cool” habits or dropping pop culture references:
- There’s nothing like kicking it to some crunchy bass while enjoying a good Malbec.
- 60% of the time it works all the time.
- While pulling out their iPhone. Let me pull out my pocket iPad.
You know you’re talking to a nerd when they insert obsecure references into a sentence:
- The box said ‘Requires Windows 95 or better” so I installed LINUX.
- I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code.
- There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don’t.
Factoids / Stats:
- 87% prefer the word GEEK over NERD.
- 17% of Americans identify as geeks
- 65% of video games designers identify as geeks
- 50% of technology engineers identify as geeks
- 37% of bloggers identify as geeks
- 66% of millennials think “geek” is a compliment
- 45% of people believe geeks are early adopters
- 31% of people believe geeks have a higher chance of being successful.
41% of people would be comfortable called a geek while over 24% would be comfortable called a nerd.
Movies Geeks Love…
- Donnie Darko
- Office Space
- Arrested Development
Movies Nerds Love
- Lord of the rings
- Battlestar Galactica
- Star Trek
Infographic by MastersInIT.org