Infographic: Geek vs Nerd explained

Burr Settles, who is an engineer covering statistical machine learning and other assorted nerdiness, decided to solve the old geek vs nerd conundrum by plotting the terms that correlate more with one of the states of mind than the other. The result is pretty spot-on, if you ask us, and the author explains his conclusions below. What do you think, does the graph get it about right?

source: Burr Settles (Slackprop) via Gizmodo



1. scriptwriter

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Well this just plain stupid. Its doesnt explain anything. I like stuff on both sides of the graph. Anybody can be a geek but nerd has no choice. Nerds are born intelligent and make a career from it. Geeks are people who choose to follow the nerds and what they do.

4. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Not true. A geek can be nerdy and a nerd can be a geek. Intelligence has nothing to with it. A nerd is more someone who over analyzes and takes everything too literal. This is the biggest example I saw when I was working in a comic shop while I was in college. The geeks will argue stupid crap and discuss popular culture while the nerds will nit pick stupid irrelevant details and not know how to take a joke.

15. Dorothy69

Posts: 498; Member since: May 21, 2013

I think you're dead wrong; the graph is about 93% accurate. However, Macbook, iPod and AppleTV, respectively, belong on the Nerdy (extreme) side. ApplePretentious shouldn't be on either as, it's just an act out of sheer desparation for some kind of social acceptance. The rest is spot on, especially for Geek; explains why I've seen The Avengers 3 times!! Oh!!! And, iHate games (except Angry Birds but, that's passe' anyway)!!

2. Timmehor

Posts: 599; Member since: Mar 09, 2013

You're saying "gamers" are nerdy AND geeky?! Well, no.

5. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

Yes with the exception being the people that call themselves gamers but only play stuff like call of duty, madden, words with friends, and candy crush.

10. Timmehor

Posts: 599; Member since: Mar 09, 2013

Well the term "gamer" can range from a person playing Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds regularly. People don't understand but "gamer" is an extremely broad term. Between female and male gamers it's almost 50/50!

12. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Actually no, a real gamer probably considers those games to be crap or to be just a small time killer... Real gamers drool at console graphics, upgrade their computers constantly to play better games, posses a knollege about characters background and storyline and so on, a casual gamer and a hipster on the other side....

16. madpiyal

Posts: 108; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

You are right. I used to be a gamer and I used to know all the backgrounds and heritages surrounding them. Even the origins of the game characters was interesting to me.

3. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

As someone who falls into both categories I say its pretty spot on.

6. daniel_bargs

Posts: 325; Member since: Nov 27, 2010

This explained what I had on my mind long ago! haha lol :)

7. mobilefuture

Posts: 224; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

I have alot of "Geeky" qualities but some nerdy ones too. Anyways I'm proud! :D

9. Timmehor

Posts: 599; Member since: Mar 09, 2013

Hey, we are on Phone Arena, everyone here has a little Geek and Nerd in them!

13. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

+1 to that

22. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Proto what device are you currently using?

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well said, and true. +1, I'm just a geek/nerd who drinks a lot of protein shakes and hits the iron.

19. Dorothy69

Posts: 498; Member since: May 21, 2013

God, your endless solicitation for validation and self-affirming praise makes me want to jump into an EF5 tornado. Okay, your Black, Buffed (although, you're not very lean just thick) and NOT Beautiful: ACCEPT IT, move on. We know you try hard but, go watch some presidential speeches so you can see all you are not.

24. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I may speak on fitness, but I never mention my skin color, which you mention every time you respond to me. If my being black bothers you sooo much, how about you simply stop responding to me? From here on out I'll show you how it's done you racist prick.

25. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

You tell him/her jedii.

27. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Smurf it's all good. I tune out racism dude, it's not my thing and that person has played that card with me, since he/she joined PA.

28. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Smurf I tried the mega 6.3 unlocked version. Huge phone, and my hands are pretty big. Smooth, fast, and little lag. Cellular super store here in Vegas wants a grand for it though.

26. Dorothy69

Posts: 498; Member since: May 21, 2013

Why always pull out "the race card"?? I just said you're "buff" but not lean; you're 'Black but, not beautiful'! You know there are lots of beautiful black folks in the world, you're just NOT one of them (even though, you think to the contrary). It's just sad that "the race card" is always pulled out [when it's convenient] … I would tell you to take a good look in the mirror but, you might turn yourself on.

8. cyborg009

Posts: 119; Member since: Sep 17, 2011

Geek is a computer/technology Nerd.

11. speckledapple

Posts: 902; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

I believe there is merit in this graph but it needs more context and explaining.

17. madpiyal

Posts: 108; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

Nice graph. I am a petroleum engineer but even for me its a bit confusing. Because certain qualities are prerequisite to gain certain other ones but in here they are not in order (maybe its just me). But I totally agree with'' In broad strokes, it seems to me that geeky words are more about stuff (e.g., “#stuff”), while nerdy words are more about ideas (e.g., “hypothesis”)."

18. linaresx

Posts: 101; Member since: Jun 13, 2013

Yet the Spazz vs Dweeb debacle rages on.

20. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Great, where do us dorks fit in? Ahhh... discriminated against yet again!

21. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

There is no clear cut description of the definitions of geeks and nerds. Unfortunately we have inaccurate representations from "revenge of the nerds" to "big bang theory" lol i believe that a geek is an intelligent person that is socially acceptable to the general public while a nerd is socailly awkward when it comes things like character, attire, social cues, and attitiude. Sheldon from "the big bang theory" would be considered a nerd because he has NO social cues and he couldnt blend in with the general public even if he tried lol.

23. ZeroCide

Posts: 813; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

how did boobies make it on the chart????

29. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

"the data seem to affirm" Proper grammar is the mark of a true nerd. :)

30. SideTrack

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 26, 2013

One of the problems with defining the tem NERD is that people attribute its origin to Dr. Seuss. True, he was the first person to use is (1950), but he was mostly putting together random syllables. The term NERD became popular with its current meaning when it was used to describe the people at Northern Electric Research and Development (NERD). (For more information on that company, see the Wikipedia page on Bell Northern Research when says in part: In 1957, Northern Electric started its own research and development labs in Belleville, Ontario. Two years later, Northern Electric created the Northern Electric Research and Development Laboratories in Ottawa.) This graph reflects the fact that NERDs are a lot like the employees of that old company. There were no Computer Science degrees back then, so the company hired people from every other science and math field (as you see in the graph). These people were highly educated and obsessed with puzzles. They also enjoyed a really high salary. One other area of education that these people came from was English majors. A computer will do EXACTLY what you tell it to, so you need people who can think critically about what EXACTLY you just told it to do. (We all know the stories of when a programmer meant to put in a comma and he accidently put in a period and instead causing a space shuttle to crash.) A geek might say there is very little difference between a comma and a periods, or a between a geek and a nerd. A nerd sees a huge difference! The graph on this page is definitely nerdy!

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