Are You A Geek Or A Nerd? Find Out For Sure

ROFL 23-06-2013

Can you call yourself a “geek” or a “nerd” just because you feel like it? If you’re wondering if geeks and nerds are the same, they’re not. Geeks may be loosely defined as enthusiasts, obsessed with cool and trendy things. Nerds, on the other hand, are more intellectual and painstakingly focus on acquiring knowledge in a particular topic or field.

To prove this distinction, Burr Settles — data scientist, software engineer, and author of Active Learning — published the results of his experiment which illustrated words that accompany the terms geek and nerd.

Here are the results:

geek vs nerd

Words that accompany the term geek were plotted on the y axis, and nerdy words on the x axis. In general, orange words are geeky, blue words are nerdy. The affinity for these words to their terms increases further along the axes — that is to say that “culture” is more often associated with geeks than “collections”; “biochemistry”, “neuroscience” and “salary” are nerdier words compared to “exams” and “teachers”. Words along the x=y plotted line are just as geeky as they are nerdy.

Read Burr’s breakdown of his experiment on his blog, Slackpropagation.

So, are you a geek or a nerd?

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  1. Charles Merriwether
    May 14, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Why are there hashtags on some of the words, seemingly at random? The "graph" doesn't seem to make sense, for instance (#deli) is very geeky but (goths) minus the hashtag is more nerdy. Pointless & confusing - perfectly in line with what society is grinding our once hopeful future into, a pointless & confusing mess.


  2. Anonymous
    September 20, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Why is Star Trek under nerd???

  3. Profeezy N
    September 2, 2013 at 8:59 am

    im a Nerd Geek.

  4. Susan K
    July 5, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I am a nerd and justifiably proud to be one. HOWEVER, I think the word "nerd" is inaccurate. I prefer "erudite."

  5. The other Tech guy
    July 2, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    If I have to choose one or die then Geek would be where I'm going. I know I'm gonna regret, but I need to sacrifice a few for greater good :D

  6. ColaWTF
    June 28, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I feel that I fit somewhere in between :)

  7. Fritz Goebel
    June 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I'm sure most of us have characteristics of both geeks and nerds, but the vast majority of my traits are nerdy.

  8. Pooky Joralyn
    June 27, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Just why are boobies here?!

    • Peter Edley
      June 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      I guess that makes all females geeks, and if your male you must have man boobs to be a geek.

      • Pooky Joralyn
        June 28, 2013 at 4:47 am

        I'm a guy but used to have it (slightly anyway) so I'm a geek now ROFL

  9. Barack obama
    June 27, 2013 at 12:20 am

    I also doubt that the people in this comments section know how to program or
    like Anime and Manga besides Bleach, DBZ, DB, and Naruto.

    • Jackson Chung
      June 28, 2013 at 4:33 am

      Yes, Mr. President.

      • Saumyakanta S
        July 9, 2013 at 9:39 am

        hahaha...Mr. President is geeky nerd??

  10. Barack obama
    June 27, 2013 at 12:18 am

    This article looks like it was written by a hipster.

    • Jackson Chung
      June 28, 2013 at 4:32 am

      I may be.

  11. Tom
    June 25, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Guess I am y=x

  12. Junil Maharjan
    June 25, 2013 at 5:39 am

    what if i am a geeky nerd?

  13. Yaz C
    June 25, 2013 at 4:13 am

    I say, I'm half and half. Although, Calculus and Chemistry are entirely beyond my capacity for learning. Good thing my awesome high school seatmates were pretty "generous". lolz. Fun post, Jackson Chung!

    • Jackson Chung
      June 28, 2013 at 4:32 am

      Thanks, Yaz!

  14. Tim Brookes
    June 25, 2013 at 3:55 am

    "I'm not a nerd Bart. Nerds are smart."

  15. Peter
    June 24, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    It took me less than five seconds to generalize the graph: "nerds" are bona fide scientists and intellectuals and "geeks" are hipster poseurs.

  16. Tech
    June 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Now I am sure that I am a geek :D

  17. Jedd
    June 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I'm 10 for Geek and 32 for Nerd. Looks like I'm a slightly geeky nerd.

  18. techguyknows
    June 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I'm both a geek and a nerd.

  19. macwitty
    June 24, 2013 at 10:44 am

    A geek not too far from the near field

  20. Jaypee Cruz
    June 24, 2013 at 5:30 am

    I was afraid of being a nerd .. .. .. so i crossed fingers before looking at those descriptions.. .. .. and LOL .. .. i'm not a nerd ahaha

    • Jackson Chung
      June 24, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      Geek lvl?

  21. Devin Leopard
    June 24, 2013 at 4:55 am

    I think i am a geek but there's a nerd a little inside me as i am influenced by my studies and like science. But I love technology more than i am definitely a nerdy geek.

  22. Degenerated S
    June 24, 2013 at 4:07 am

    I got it! I'm a geek.

    • Jackson Chung
      June 24, 2013 at 3:21 pm


  23. Christian Ampoloquio
    June 24, 2013 at 2:46 am

    Interesting.. I like it.. :)

  24. Nez
    June 24, 2013 at 1:51 am

    A lot more towards the geek side for me, just as I thought.

  25. Leland Whitlock
    June 23, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    I have such a broad range of interests and I don't straddle the line between Geek or Nerd. I am very much a combination of both. I definitely do not consider myself a Gerd as the term coined by someone else here. I consider myself both and more. People are generally to complex to define in binary terms at least in my opinion.

    • Julie Smith
      June 24, 2013 at 1:55 am

      I agree wholeheartedly! Most people are much too complex to be defined by any binary term. I definitely encompass both geek and nerd, but neither in extreme.

      • Jackson Chung
        June 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm

        It's just for fun. Don't take it too seriously :)

  26. more self labling
    June 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    I did not see Anime on there

    • Degenerated S
      June 24, 2013 at 4:08 am

      yes ...thats one is most important!!

      • Jackson Chung
        June 24, 2013 at 3:20 pm

        Which group would it fall under?

        • Degenerated S
          June 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm

          geek of course !!

  27. J Enrique F
    June 23, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    avengers, starwars, gamer, and glasses make me a geek and a nerd :D right?

  28. David Moreira
    June 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Geek here.

  29. groovyspecs
    June 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Geek. The word gadget is just irresistible.

  30. Sudeepto Dutta
    June 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Before reading the aforementioned article Slackpropagation , I though I might be a hybrid ...

    But I guess I am a complete Geek :) A Tech Geek :D

    Thanks for the article Jackson ... really needed it to remove my confusions :)

    • Jackson Chung
      June 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      Interesting, isn't it? Cheers!

  31. Scutterman
    June 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    As interesting as all of this is, I think that there isn't a binary definition of geek or nerd. Almost everyone who relates to one will also have some traits that are usually associated with the other. This data also doesn't give a hard and fast definition of the words, just what people associate with them, which is pure opinion.

    • Jackson Chung
      June 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      Absolutely. It's not hard evidence but there are some things in the world that are true simply because people accept them to be true.

  32. Brandon Ragoo
    June 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    I guess I'm hardcore geek

  33. Bumferry
    June 23, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I think I fall slap bang in the middle of this.
    Does that make me a Neek or a Gerd? Or am I a Gerdy Neek?

    • Jackson Chung
      June 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Congratulations, you're both a geek and a nerd!

    • Dean
      June 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      so do i. Neek i am

      • Jackson Chung
        June 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

        Or a gerd?