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Geeks vs. Nerds Definition

Updated on April 12, 2013

Geeks and Nerds

There seems to be a common misconception when it comes to classifying the difference between a nerd, geek, and dork. I for one am a geek, a proud geek at that, and I absolutely hate when people lump me into one of the two other categories.

Before I begin a comprehensive breakdown of each, let me start with some similarities and why it may be hard to distinguish between the three:

- Most nerds, geeks, and dorks are not very popular (Although, somehow it's slowly becoming trendy to be nerdy, geeky, and dorky.) For some reason or another, these individuals are a little "off" and don't conform to the traditional standards of life. In fact, they are usually deemed unpopular and are sort of the outcasts of society. Sometimes geeks are the exception, which will be discussed in further detail.

- They each have a lot of knowledge on a quirky topic that may seem a little outrageous or boring to the average person. I mean, who wants to know that The Enterprise was a class D galaxy starship when Picard assumed command? Or who really cares?

- Many of dorks, geeks and nerds cross-categories, or in other words, overlap into another group. For instance, a nerd will possess some geeky qualities, or a geek may dress dorky and may be shy people. Although the crossing over or overlapping is quite common, usually each individual has a dominant affiliation with one of the aforementioned groups.

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Classic NerdPossible Nerd
Classic Nerd
Classic Nerd
Possible Nerd
Possible Nerd

Nerds Definition

The Nerds: According to Webster's Dictionary a nerd is someone who is stupid, irritating, and unattractive. Now that's a cold description dotcha think? When I think of a nerd I think of a go-getter, someone who strives to be excellent in whatever they want to achieve. Nerds are usually successful.

More often than not, nerds are bookworms, library hounds, and love to achieve academic honors. I would dare say that Tiger Woods is a nerd based on his overall drive and self-motivation (especially in golf perhaps sex!). However, since I don't personally know him, it's hard to tell.

The stereotypical nerd would be Steve Urkel from Family Matters, although I'm not talking about his appearance or his annoying laugh. His academic performance and scientific experiments are true nerd-like qualities.

Geek Definition

The Geeks: Geeks are typically smart but usually don't have the internal drive like nerds. They are more interested in creative works dealing with science fiction/fantasy, computers, video games, comic books and graphic novels, and the internet.

Basically, find any Star Wars fanatic and there you go, geek. They generally have ample amounts of information concerning their interests and go into insane detail about it. As mentioned earlier, sometimes geeks are not thrown into the outcasts of society. There are many 'closet geeks' who tend to only talk about their hobbies with other geeks who share a common interest.

Classic Dork

Cute dork...dork nonetheless
Cute dork...dork nonetheless

Dork Definition

The Dorks: It would be tough to be deemed a dork because many times the person is unaware of the fact that they are dorks. Additionally, the term usually has a negative connotation. A dork is someone who is socially inept and tends to be awkward in public. They may not dress appropriately or have horrible hygiene.

Whatever the case may be, dorks represent the typical stereotype associated with all the groups (key word, associated) wearing the banged up glasses and mismatched outfits. If the person is aware of the fact that they are a dork then it may be a beneficial.

For instance, if they go out in public knowing that they are socially inept or awkward, they may feel inclined to do whatever it is they want, a 'do what you want' attitude about life.

Geeks and Nerds - Who Cares?

In the end, who really cares about the geeks, the nerds, and the dorks? I mean, aren't they social outcasts anyway? Don't they have problems with social skills or interpersonal communication?

Well, I care for one. Besides it's the geeks, the nerds, and even the dorks who think up crazy shit for you nonbelievers out there. It's people like us who came up with this geeky or nerdy technology so that you can read this mind-boggling article!

So listen up! There are distinct differences between nerds, geeks, and dorks. Although it may be difficult to distinguish the difference at first glance, it's definitely there. So, if for some reason I happen to ramble on and on about how the Lord of the Rings Trilogy cannot possibly compare to the epic we all call Star Wars, please do not respond by saying, "What a dork!" Have some respect!

Nerd/Geek/Dork poll

So what are you?

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