What is the difference between a Geek and a Nerd

The word Geek and Nerd are now used interchangeably referring to someone with excess of braininess. But is there any difference in calling someone a Nerd or a Geek? Well not really as you will come to know their etymology is rather the same.

Nerd – 1951, U.S. student slang, probably an alteration of 1940s slang nert “stupid or crazy person,” itself an alteration of nut. The word turns up in a Dr. Seuss book from 1950 (“If I Ran the Zoo”), which may have contributed to its rise. Adjective nerdy is from 1978

Geek – “sideshow freak,” 1916, U.S. carnival and circus slang, perhaps a variant of geck “a fool, dupe, simpleton” (1515), apparently from Low Ger. geck, from an imitative verb found in North Sea Gmc. and Scand. meaning “to croak, cackle,” and also “to mock, cheat.” The modern form and the popular use with ref. to circus sideshow “wild men” is from 1946, in William Lindsay Gresham’s novel “Nightmare Alley” (made into a film in 1947 starring Tyrone Power).

The word Geek comes from Scottish word geck, which means fool. It is said that Shakespeare have used the word in his work as well. We can also say that Shakespeare was a geek himself, wasn’t he?

It is said the word Nerd comes from the word “knurd” which is said to be coined by Polytechnic Institute.

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