Nerd vs Geek

Geeks vs. Nerds

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.

Geek Traits

  • 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
  • Marketer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Game Designer / Developer
  • Barista at an indie coffee shop
  • Entrepreneur
  • Record Store
  • Bartender

Nerd Traits

  • Extreme interest or fascination with academics
  • Introverted
  • 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
  • Engineer
  • IT Professional
  • Inventor
  • 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.

Geek Talk

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.

Nerd Talk

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…

  • Anchorman
  • Donnie Darko
  • Tron
  • Office Space
  • Arrested Development

Movies Nerds Love

  • Lord of the rings
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Star Trek
  • Matrix
  • Pi

Nerd vs Geek

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