Talk:Geek

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Geek chic section remains awful.[edit]

The Geek chic section simply cannot remain as it hstands.

It probably shouldn't be removed (it came from a merge of the Geek Chic article, and removing it would just mean that article would need to be recreated, re-voted for merge, remerged, and so on in a sad cycle). However, it's just so deeply, blatantly WRONG, to the point of being offensive.

Stuff like "t-shirts with computer programming in-jokes seems to originate from the widespread Hollywood depiction of Silicon Valley employees and other computer geeks." - no, they come because we like in-jokes, not because some external group who wouldn't even get the jokes thinks it's cool to wear something they don't understand. Think about it. Why would an "out-group" person find an "in-group" joke funny and worth wearing? Just like non-gamers don't tend to get Mario tattoos, so people don't tend to buy injoke clothing unless they identify with the group.

The idea that the clothing style exists because fashionistas invented it is pretty bonkers too: it exists because it's what we wear.

The claim that real geeks dress like "Poindexter" is purely offensive.

The claim that taped glasses are used by, well, anyone, is also offensive.

The truism that most of the celebs who wear geek chic are entertainers is... well, kind of obvious and proves nothing, since almost all celebs are entertainers, not geeks.

However, true GEEK celebs wear geek chic by preference (not "business casual" as this section claims). While there are exceptions, and the old guard tend to prefer shirts, many of the younger geeks who are not on a stage giving presentations, will wear non-Poindextery geek chic clothing. This is shown by just executing a Google image search for REAL geek heroes, and ignoring any where they're obviously at a booth or on a stage. So, John Carmac (http://www.gamedev.net/community/memorial/seumas/SeumasCarmack02.jpg), John Gilmore (http://www.seo-expert-blog.com/ext/img/geeksaresexy/John-Gilmore-2.jpg), Simple Nomad, The Frag Dolls, Eric S Raymond, Wil Wheaton, Violet Blue, Linus Torvalds, Larry Wall, David Korn, Alan Cox, Peter Shipley...

Basically, Geek Chic is an internal invention and expression of who we are, not an externally applied thing that's unrelated to us except by name. DewiMorgan (talk) 04:11, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

There's only one source in the whole section. I would advise removing the section. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 21:32, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
That would definitely be my preference too - but then, it's a notable modern fashion style, so someone would have to make an article on it then. At which point, we'd end up basically cycling endlessly. Another alternative might be to just hack it down to the bare minimum that can be factually assumed. - DewiMorgan (talk) 14:36, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
So, I had a bit of a bash at a rewrite, with refs. To do that I did a bit of reading around the subject, and found that I was actually completely wrong. There DOES appear to be a kind of "geek chic" that's completely unrelated to geek culture, is apparently an invention of the fashion industry, and is based mostly around wearing klunky Clarke Kent style specs. Then there's what geeks call geek chic. So I've tried to reflect that. But basically, all I've done is a slapdash butchery of the section, in an effort to fix most of the most blatant problems, so if anyone can improve on that, great. I may have over-deleted: in that case, best edit bits back in, rather than reverting. But if what I've written is unrecoverably bad, then go ahead and revert, and we can try again :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by DewiMorgan (talkcontribs) 16:13, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
None of this changes the fact that geek chic is monopolized by a lot of poseurs and wannabees. Many of whom embrace the geek image as an excuse to be eccentric. Most of the famous geeks who are "true geeks" and not just "hipsters" are not the type to exhibit the geek chic image on their own. It's not just because they might be too mature or uptight. They usually have had that moniker thrust upon them by cult worshipping fanboys. Many such famous people just don't live up to the larger than life geek-god image that fanboys insist on carving for them. They are actually normal, quiet, private people who do have a talent but don't have it in them to be flamboyantly geeky. The original version of this article had it right. No one really knows for sure who came up with geek chic or where. Whether or not it was real geeks deliberate choice to "spice of their image" or Madison Avenue's strategy to get into geek wallets: the truth won't be known. If you need a list of famous geeks who either don't or never have exhibited a conspicuously publicly geeky persona (except for maybe shyness, social awkwardness, or having a pedantic or funny way of taking thaty they can't help): Issac Asimov, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Octavia Butler, Carl Sagan, Brian Greene, Stephen Hawking, J.K. Rowling. Just to name a few. 137.198.20.48 (talk) 18:34, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

137.198.20.48 (talk) 18:34, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Definition section[edit]

I am removing the line which talks about, "Geek(s) in suit(s) clothing". It might be someone's personal opinion or original research. A web search on the term only brings up pages that quotes this Wikipedia page. I double checked by searching for Geek(s) in suits clothing minus IT technical stars and nothing comes up. See e.g. http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22Geek+in+suits+clothing%22+-IT+-technical+-stars&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai= and; http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22Geeks+in+suits+clothing%22+-IT+-technical+-stars&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

I also agree with the rest of the comments on this talk page. Geek chic - nothing to do with most geeks. Needs more work. Hope this is a step in the right direction Marmouse999 (talk) 19:01, 4 October 2010 (UTC)


Problems with the definition[edit]

In our end of the world, that is, Australia, usage of the original meaning of 'geek' has almost completely been forgotten. We do not apply it in that manner, possibly because our culture did not include a 'geek' or a freakshow in it's carnivals. Therefore I'd like to change it from

The word geek is a slang term, with different meanings ranging from "a computer expert or enthusiast" to "a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts", with a general pejorative meaning of "a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual".[1]

to

The word geek is a slang term that has evolved over time, with modern meanings including from "a computer expert or enthusiast" to the more archaic one of "a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts", with a general pejorative meaning of "a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp[ecially] one who is perceived to be overly intellectual".[1] The archaic meaning has mostly been lost.

There are obvious problems with this - we could do with some linguists providing us with statistics for modern usage. Otherwise we just have anecdotes. Anecdotes must be considered better than ignorance, though.

Anecdotally, the original definition of geek has been lost from my observable section of the culture. It is not used. To put it another way, some places, geek is hip.

Jsemmel (talk) 05:13, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

This page has been locked down due to vandalism, so that change can't be made until 6 April 2012

Jsemmel (talk) 05:19, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Aspergers[edit]

"Asperger syndrome - Note that contrary to some inaccurate accounts in popular media, most geeks do not have Asperger syndrome, although a minority do"

Um... since geek is not a solid category, how could someone even figure out that? Not that it isn't obvious it's totally obviously made up in the first place by some self proclaimed geek who doesn't want to be associated with Aspergers. There's no source, and it's impossible to get statistics without a precise definition of geek anyway, which will never happen as it's an evolving coloquial term. Should be removed, don't you think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.150.54.79 (talk) 17:20, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

 Done Soap 17:26, 16 January 2011 (UTC)


A strong focus on a particular topic or hobby is one of 30 markers used in diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome spectrums. I seem to recall that 3 to 4 markers would be identified before that diagnosis was confirmed. Hence, some geeks may have Asperger's, but Asperger's patients aren't necessarily geeks. People who have a passionate enthusiasm don't necessarily have an autistic spectrum disorder.

I use http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=62&Itemid=176 and texts by Dr Tony Attwood as my main resource, as he is an authority.

Jsemmel (talk) 05:30, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

People with a passionate enthusiasm also don't neccesarily qualify as geeks, let alone Aspies.137.198.20.48 (talk) 18:51, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

Anybody know of an earlier use of the term than in Robert Heinlein's 1952 short story "The year of the jackpot"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 219.89.94.192 (talk) 08:39, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes. http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=nerd%2C+nurd%2C+geek&year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=0&smoothing=3 71.164.227.51 (talk) 17:44, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

Let me just point out that the word Geck has certainly survived not only in some German dialects, but also in standard German - compare for example the German language article for Geek, or any German dictionary. Khms-WP (talk) 18:00, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

In Luxembourg language, "Geck" means "crazy", and is frequently used. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.46.231.234 (talk) 06:30, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Reference to Mazda Pi[edit]

I updated the Mazda Pi reference to a higher resolution picture, in addition to correctly referencing its place of origin: UC Irvine.

In the caption the Greek character looked like TT, so I replaced it with the word Pi, (and linked it). Bricaniwi (talk) 22:35, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Clarification in the Meaning of "Geek"[edit]

This article needs to define the difference between a geek and a nerd, or explain that the two terms may just be synonyms with slightly different connotations. If these two terms can be used interchangeably, then there is no point in keeping two articles. At that point, a debate should be held on merging these two similar articles. SuperSuperSmarty (talk) 19:19, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

I disagree with both. The two articles are fine but the hat note is unnecessary, because it is a big chunk of original research.--Guerillero | My Talk 02:26, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
OK. Hat note is removed. SuperSuperSmarty (talk) 01:04, 22 November 2011 (UTC)



I'm not fully comfortable with the geek vs nerd comparison. When people ask me why I consider myself a geek I say "I like a lot of stuff that is often technology related.". I am Canadian and therefore likely share the American view of the nerd as being more on the smart side than a geek. For me a nerd is more characterized by social awkwardness than a geek, and less specifically attracted to technology per se. In my opinion a nerd is a more brain power focused individual who is often considered expert level (like an engineer) on at least one specific subject if not multiple subjects. Nerds also would be less inclined to participate in group activities due to their social awkwardness. Once again, in my opinion, you can be a geek or a nerd or even both but the two are not the same. You will often find people who are both but far from the majority. Thoughts anyone? — Preceding unsigned comment added by SirDragn (talkcontribs) 16:12, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Information[edit]

you should totally replace this article with this:

A rare breed of nocturnal technologically savvy coffee drinker. The anti-social A.C. is related to the neo-ludite family. The North American variety is known to infest networks of varied bandwidths and breeds quickly when the practically extinct female of the species is introduced to its natural habitat. The cubicle habitat has been providing more space and hope for the survival of these species. This important creature is part of an ecosystem that even supports the all important parasitic management weasels that live alongside them in relative harmony.

--190.60.93.218 (talk) 16:35, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your helpful suggestion. You mis-spelt "Luddite" ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 14:01, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

geeks are non-conformist?[edit]

Your first sentence makes a claim which I believe to be false and which isn't backed up by the citation given. The claim is further repeated (again uncited) in this latter sentence: a geek is "a person who has chosen concentration rather than conformity". Geeks are usually highly conformist in their attitudes - in fact you come across their geek tendencies most when you try to get them to see things differently. They'll often cite some sort of encyclopedic claim to support what they are saying, in a quite mechanistic way devoid of context or a more nuanced understanding of the world. This obtuseness is also at the root of their poor socialisation. Geek is generally a pejorative term for people with either no personality or a difficult personality. The fact that geeks often don't fit in isn't because of a chosen non-conformity, it is due to maladapted socialisation and lack of empathy which makes them blind to their own awkward behaviour and the reasons others react to it. Just my 2c. 121.73.7.84 (talk) 11:33, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

true, they are conformist in the sense that they never disobey the rules. the meaning of conformist in the sense of this definition, however, refers to them not going along with the crowd and not making an effort to do so. They are more caught up in skill & imagination. this defof geek came drom the Jargon file. (cite it, please.) Ticklewickleukulele (talk) 22:39, 2 July 2012 (UTC)

It's interesting how people perceive things differently. In my perception geeks tend to lack imagination and are prone to square conformist thinking. 121.73.7.84 (talk) 13:50, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
I read your text more thoroughly, and you are right. The general definition of a geek (the derogatory one) in my opinion is, A person who is odd and different, especially one whose interests, tastes, acts, or looks place him outside what would be a normal person, and/or has a weird personality, whether that would mean being dull, boring and overly intellectual, or being goofy, immature, and overly imaginative . The whole thing about reforming the definition is stupid. Also, saying that any person who likes something indepth is a geek is kinda derogatory to people who think otherwise (since when did sports and TV automatically make a person a nerd?). Even stupider is the phrase "food geek". If you think that eating is geeky, then you must be a robot. Personally, i prefer the term "fan". Nerd, geek, and dork are inaccurate. Ticklewickleukulele (talk) 23:16, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Please see WP:I don't like it and WP:I just don't like it. yonnie (talk) 23:06, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

One of the worst articles on Wikipedia[edit]

Needs to be completely scrapped and re-written. A geek is simply someone who possesses intense interests in particular hobbies (model train geek) and entertainment (video game geek), with the interests usually falling outside of what is considered to be "mainstream" or "cool". "Geek culture" has a long history, probably beginning with the emergence of the space age and the sci-fi era, and was initially considered to be for "outsiders" or "nerds", but has since become a major component of mainstream culture. yonnie (talk) 19:54, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

If you want to rewrite it, please follow basic wikipedia rules, WP:CITE, "reliable sources", "no original research". Everybody knows what 'geek' is, but everybody is mistaken, including you :-) Staszek Lem (talk) 20:12, 12 October 2012 (UTC)
"Everybody knows what 'geek' is, but everybody is mistaken, including you" Care to elaborate? yonnie (talk) 15:13, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
My theory: If you must use an encyclopedia or dictionary to find out the meaning of "geek" or "nerd", than you are a "geek" or "nerd" yourself. I understand the etymology, but why must we make an article on the stereotype of a geek? It is not far removed from writing an article on "losers" (another heavily debated, non-definite term). Plus, intelligence is not the defining quality of nerdiness. That would be like saying that all people called "losers" smoke cigarrettes. Which is a very "loser" quality for many, but not the only reason why a person can be referred to by the term "loser". Ticklewickleukulele (talk) 18:10, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
"why must we make an article on the stereotype of a geek?" Why must we make an article about ANYTHING for that matter? "Geek" is used by people as a self-identifying term. There is a large "geek culture" that has recently crossed into the mainstream. Nobody uses the term "loser" to describe themselves (in a serious, non-joking manner anyways). yonnie (talk) 23:04, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

G.E.E.K.[edit]

Allegedly it is a US military acronym.

A quick google search shows no definitive references, other than from various geek/nerd websites and blogs. acronymfinder says "extremely rare usage". US military is well known for its obsession with abbrevs and acronyms, and the corresponding fun thereof. However I failed to find sources with sufficient military context to believe the claim. Therefore I tagged it dubious and rephrased accordingly, to stress that so fare it is a hearsay. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:22, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

-------------------------

I would remove it entirely. Very little out there to corroborate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SirDragn (talkcontribs) 16:15, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

I did. Huw Powell (talk) 00:19, 29 April 2014 (UTC)


The original meaning[edit]

"A carnival performer who performs wild or disgusting acts.". Geek, dork, and nerd all developed to simply be insults, typically applied to spotty young men with pocket protectors and taped-together spectacles. All three have now acquired a new sheen in the personal computer era, since these are the people who basically make it all work for the rest of us. Huw Powell (talk) 00:19, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Article is incomplete[edit]

The current popular variation of "geek" is not the only definition of the term. It has also been used to describe a carnival sideshow performer who does shocking and disgusting acts. There's an episode of popular 1970s TV show Sanford and Son that talks about this extensively, it's used as a running gag. Kindzmarauli (talk) 14:34, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Geekette[edit]

On looking up some sites about Ekaterina Karabasheva i came upon the term 'geekette' - [1], [2]. Looking up geekette on wiki redirects to geek but there isn't a section on it. should there be? Coolabahapple (talk) 06:21, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

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Austria-Hungary origin of term[edit]

Somebody edited the Etymology section on Sep. 11, changing "Austria-Hungary" to "Austria and Hungary", because it refers to the 18th c., and Austria-Hungary was not legally created as an entity until 1867 (the political union of the two countries preceeded that date by many years). The term Austria-Hungary is used in the source referred to for this statement. It is not a scholarly ref., and Austria-Hungary may or may not have existed when the term was used, but it is a German word; there is not evidence pro or con (at this time) that the term was actually used in Hungary by German speakers. My suspicion is that the edit was made by someone who is protective of Hungarian ("Magyar") history. Since we really don't know if the term "Gecken" was used in Hungary, I changed it to just "Austria". This issue would be helped if somebody can dig into the etymology of the term and get more historical sources. Paulmlieberman (talk) 14:48, 12 September 2016 (UTC)