IIRC, originally, a geek was a carnival performer who would eat all sorts of disgusting things.

Somewhere, that meaning got lost, and now it’s accepted as a synonym for “nerd.”

Any ideas where this started?

The first time I ever heard of it was on (gulp!) the TV show “Facts of Life.”

(What can I say–I liked “Jo.”)

WAG: That by extension from the original meaning of the word “geek” (a person who behaves in a sub-human manner), it came to mean a person so socially inept and personally clueless that they routinely say and do things that brand them as social outcasts.

Though of obscure origin, the word “geek” may have come from the Middle Low German geck, meaning fool.
Now, pass the chicken heads…

“IIRC, originally, a geek was a carnival performer who would eat all sorts of disgusting things.”

Oh, a programmer! :slight_smile:

Work like you don’t need the money…
Love like you’ve never been hurt…
Dance like nobody’s watching! …(Paraphrased)

A geek, I think, would prefer you pass him an intact chicken.

I seem to remember the term “geek” came into use in American slang because of a little toy that was a fad in the late 70’s early 80’s called “The pencil necked geek”.

It was a weird rubber skinned thing filled with silly putty that popped it’s eyes and lips and ears when squeezed.

Last time I saw one was on an old Pee Wee Herman comedy show.


Hey, I remember those popeyed chickens. Cool, Inky.

It’s such a cool word, it would have been a pity to waste it on such a small set of individuals (those who bite the 'eads off small live creatures, such as whippets). I don’t know why or how it was resurrected, but I’m certainly glad it was - it’s just fun to say. Or is that geeky?

Actually, geeks are not synonymous with nerds. Geeks are a subculture; nerds are just people.