The word geek is a slang term originally used to describe eccentric or
non-mainstream people; in current use, the word typically connotes an
expert or enthusiast or a person obsessed with a hobby or intellectual
pursuit, with a general pejorative meaning of a "peculiar person,
especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual,
unfashionable, boring, or socially awkward".
Some use the term self-referentially without malice or as a source of
pride. Often, referring simply to "someone who is interested in a
subject (usually intellectual or complex) for its own sake".
Nonetheless, it remains a pejorative, widely used in an abusive manner
especially against children and teens who may be more focused on
studies, while less popular, fashionable, or socially inclined.
5 See also
7 External links
The word comes from
English dialect geek or geck (meaning a "fool" or
Middle Low German
Middle Low German Geck). "Geck" is a standard term in
modern German and means "fool" or "fop". The root also survives in
the Dutch and
Afrikaans adjective gek ("crazy"), as well as some
German dialects, and in the Alsatian word Gickeleshut ("jester's hat";
used during carnival). In 18th century Austria, Gecken were freaks
on display in some circuses. In 19th century North America, the term
geek referred to a performer in a geek show in a circus, traveling
carnival or travelling funfair sideshows (see also freak show). The
1976 edition of the
American Heritage Dictionary included only the
definition regarding geek shows.[clarification needed] This variation
of the term was used to comic effect in an episode of popular 1970s TV
show Sanford & Son. Professional wrestling manager "Classy"
Freddie Blassie recorded a song in the 1970s called "Pencil-Necked
The 1975 edition of the American Heritage Dictionary, published a
decade before the Digital revolution, gave only one definition: "Geek
[noun, slang]. A carnival performer whose act usually consists of
biting the head off a live chicken or snake." The tech revolution
found new uses for this word, but it still often conveys a derogatory
sting. Today, Dictionary.com gives five definitions, the fourth of
which is "a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or
disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken." 
The definition of geek has been used as slang with different
connotations, including as an affectionate label. However, this
doesn't mean that the term is meaningless or has lost its meaning over
time. It remains mostly a derogatory term used to label people
unfairly and offensively. Not a friendly and affectionate compliment
about somebody's personality, but a hurtful insulting form of
invalidation or emotional abuse.
The term nerd has a similar, practically synonymous meaning as geek,
but many choose to identify different connotations among these two
terms, although the differences are disputed. In a 2007 interview on
The Colbert Report, Richard Clarke said the difference between nerds
and geeks is "geeks get it done" or "ggid" Julie Smith defined a
geek as "a bright young man turned inward, poorly socialized, who felt
so little kinship with his own planet that he routinely traveled to
the ones invented by his favorite authors, who thought of that secret,
dreamy place his computer took him to as cyberspace—somewhere
exciting, a place more real than his own life, a land he could
conquer, not a drab teenager's room in his parents' house".
Technologically oriented geeks, in particular, now exert a powerful
influence over the global economy and society. Whereas previous
generations of geeks tended to operate in research departments,
laboratories and support functions, now they increasingly occupy
senior corporate positions, and wield considerable commercial and
political influence. When U.S. President
Barack Obama met with
Mark Zuckerberg and the CEOs of the world’s largest
technology firms at a private dinner in Woodside, California on
February 17, 2011, New York magazine ran a story titled "The world’s
most powerful man meets President Obama". At the time,
Zuckerberg’s company had grown to over one billion users.
Mark Roeder the rise of the geek represents a new phase
of human evolution. In his book, Unnatural Selection: Why The Geeks
Will Inherit The Earth he suggests that "the high-tech environment
Anthropocene favours people with geek-like traits, many of whom
are on the autism spectrum, ADHD, or dyslexia. Previously, such people
may have been at a disadvantage, but now their unique cognitive traits
enable some of them to resonate with the new technological zeitgeist
and become very successful."
The Economist magazine observed, on June 2, 2012, "Those square pegs
(geeks) may not have an easy time in school. They may be mocked by
jocks and ignored at parties. But these days no serious organisation
can prosper without them."
For the book, see
Geek chic" refers to a minor fashion trend that arose in the mid
2000s in which young people adopted "geeky" fashions, such as
oversized black horn-rimmed glasses, suspenders/braces, and highwater
trousers. The glasses—sometimes worn with non-prescription lenses or
without lenses—quickly became the defining aspect of the trend, with
the media identifying various celebrities as "trying geek" or "going
geek" for wearing such glasses, such as David Beckham and Justin
Timberlake.  Meanwhile, in the sports world, many
NBA players wore
"geek glasses" during post-game interviews, drawing comparisons to
The term "geek chic" was appropriated by some self-identified "geeks"
to refer to a new, socially acceptable role in a technologically
Anorak and Boffin, British slang for "geek"
Akiba-kei and Otaku, Japanese slang for "geek"
Video game culture
^ a b "Geek". Dictionary.com-Merriam-Webster entry. Retrieved January
^ Olivri, Thomas (4 November 2014). "Geek-Art: An Anthology: Art,
Design, Illustration & Pop Culture". Chronicle Books. p. 4
– via Google Books.
^ "geek". Retrieved 19 Mar 2018.
^ "Duden Geck Rechtschreibung, Bedeutung, Definition, Synonyme,
Herkunft" (in German). Duden.de. October 30, 2012. Retrieved June 30,
^ "Geek". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
^ "Dictionary.com: Geek". Retrieved May 10, 2017.
The Colbert Report
The Colbert Report 17th of January video interview Richard Clarke
^ "Reconstruction 6.1 (Winter 2006)". Reconstruction.eserver.org.
Retrieved June 30, 2014. [permanent dead link]
^ Beckett, Jamie (October 24, 2012). "Study shows Stanford alumni
create nearly $3 trillion in economic impact each year". Stanford
^ Amira, Dan (February 18, 2011). "The world's most powerful man meets
President Obama". New York Magazine.
Unnatural Selection by Mark Roeder
^ In praise of misfits. Economist. June 2, 2012.
^ "Geeky Becks' specs appeal". The Sun. September 12, 2010. Retrieved
March 1, 2013.
^ "Nice glasses!
Justin Timberlake is bringing geek chic back at the
Social Network premiere". Daily Mail. September 25, 2010. Retrieved
March 1, 2013.
NBA Playoff Fashion!". YouTube. Retrieved June 26,
^ Cacciola, Scott (June 14, 2012). "
NBA Finals: LeBron James, Dwyane
Wade and Other Fashion Plates of the
NBA Make Specs of Themselves".
Online.wsj.com. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
^ Lambert, Katie. "How Stuff works:
People.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
Look up geek in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Geeks.
Geek Culture: The Third Counter-Culture, an article discussing geek
culture as a new kind of counter-culture.
The Origins of
Geek Culture: Perspectives on a Parallel Intellectual
Milieu, an article about geek culture seen in a cultural historical
Hoevel, Ann. "Are you a nerd or a geek?" CNN. December 2, 2010.
Geek Chic", USA Today, October 22, 2003
Geek Chic Works"
"How to D