Settling the great geek debate

A while back I was trying to figure out the difference between nerds and geeks. My hypothesis is that the terms are not interchangeable. I think the matter is settled once and for all by this Venn Diagram


Leah says:

See I’d swap the “Geek” and “nerd” words around. Because “nerd” is most commonly used to describe people with a particular obsession who are especially knowledgeable on the subject (eg. computer nerds, star wars nerds, harry potter nerds, star trek nerds, etc) and the social aptitude (or lack of) rarely comes into it.

Amy says:

I think that too. Nerds you try and avoid at parties. Geeks wouldn’t even be at the party…
(Said by a lifelong sci-fi nerd…)

Mark says:

Well that settled that nicely Nathan. Well done.

Jordie says:

Incidentally, have you ever looked up the origins of the word geek?

Taken from its Wikipedia article, though I remember reading about men who bit off the heads of live chickens for money in an unfortunate essay I had to analyze for 11th grade AP Language and Composition last year…

“The word geek is a slang term, noting individuals as “a peculiar or otherwise odd person, especially one who is perceived to be overly obsessed with one or more things including those of intellectuality, electronics, etc.”[1] Formerly, the term referred to a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken, bat, snake or bugs. The 1976 edition of the American Heritage Dictionary included only the definition regarding geek shows.

This word comes from English dialect geek, geck: fool, freak; from Low German geck, from Middle Low German. The root geck still survives in Dutch gek: crazy, and in the Alsatian word Gickeleshut: geek’s hat, used in carnivals.[“

Sean says:

See where I am, you hear of “star trek geeks”, “computer geeks”, and nerd means more like academic..

[…] turns out that even an awesome venn diagram won’t solve the nerd v geek debate for some people. So here you go. Empirical data. From […]

Lord_Boofhe says:

I’m with Sean on this one the dividing line between Nerd and Geek to me has always been the usfulness of the information or are you are obsesed with. If you are obsessed with physics or know everything there is to know about the Court of Henry VIII then you areew a Nerd. Obsessed with Star Wars or know everything there is to know about Dungeons and Dragons, you are a Geek…

[…] chart is courtesy of the fab website and the Geek Matrix is courtesy of this SITE. All other images from […]