Geeky Nerdiest Dorkfest

Inspired by Rannie’s recent Vox QotD response, I was pushed to consider the difference between a nerd and a geek.  My response was:


Stopping to think about it, I think of "geek" as being "obsessively into <insert subject here>" where as a "nerd is more "completely anal about <insert subject here>"

Now, don’t bite my head off, I’m talking about the colloquialisms here.   But since I’m sharing my misconceptions, I figured I’d ask yours.

So, what are your working understandings, your walking-around-town-pointing-and-laughing definitions, of the following:


  • Nerd;

  • Geek;

  • Dork; and just for good measure:

  • Nimrod.

Feel free to throw in self-deprecating examples.

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

One thought on “Geeky Nerdiest Dorkfest

  • August 24, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    I think of a “geek” as being seriously over-informed on a subject matter compared to the population at large (we can think of movie geeks, computer geeks, and food geeks, for example). Sometimes complimentary.
    “Nerds” on the other hand demonstrate more of an asocial (or even antisocial) behaviour, often arising from having absorbed themselves into some other activity. A “computer nerd” might spend all his time with computers rather than with friends (e.g. playing games), but might not be well-enough informed about computers to actually be a geek. Typically mildly derogatory.
    A “dork” is also asocial, but primarily because of their own clumsiness rather than having absorbed themselves in other activities. A weak fashion sense often arises because of a lack of advice about, say, the proper wearing of plaid with horn-rimmed glasses. Derogatory.
    “Nimrod”, historically, was a mighty and powerful athlete (hunter). Today, though, I usually hear the term applied to some who either cannot, or refuse to learn what most consider simple academic activities, somewhere in the realm of an idiot.


What do you think?