Choose Your Side: Are You a Geek or a Nerd?

ROFL 25-12-2013

At MakeUseOf, we’re big on geeks. We’ve talked about the scientific approach to determining if you’re a geek or a nerd Are You A Geek Or A Nerd? Find Out For Sure 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... Read More , the evolution of geeks The Evolution of the Geek As you can probably tell, we're big on geeks here. If you're not sure if you are a geek, well, there's an easy way to find out. Passed the test? Here's another one to gauge... Read More , the various types of geeks Which Type of Geek Are You, Exactly? Alright, from the response we received to an infograph about the things every geek should know, we've established that the term 'geek' isn't generic, and thus, can't be applied to every person who is geeky... Read More , 50 things a geek must know 50 Things Every Geek Should Know If you're a geek, then you should know how to hide stuff in a JPEG image, why people should "try turning it off and on again" before they call the IT department, know the One... Read More , and we even have our own geek t-shirt!

Now, let’s take a look at geeks and nerds in real life: what jobs both of them are most likely to hold, how they speak, how they identify themselves and their taste in movies.

Then let us know: are you a geek or a nerd? There’s no wrong answer!

Click to enlarge.

Choose Your Side: Are You a Geek or a Nerd? geek vs nerd


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  1. Anon
    January 6, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Bit of both. Very nerd; academic knowledge and obscure references has me down to a T (though far more obscure references than the ones in the article - if over 1 in 1000 people get the reference, I've lost).

    It looks like the definition of geek there is very wide: doesn't it pretty much cover every single student ever?

    I think the real definitions are as contended as can be and for that reason I generally use them for the same purpose, which is generally for someone who has a very technical or precise hobby. Basically STEM enthusiasts. Introversion you pretty much get for free among that type of person.

  2. Anuj S
    January 4, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I m a geek with a PC..Does that make me a Negee?

  3. Mohamed S
    December 27, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    more to be nerd than a geek

  4. Jason N
    December 27, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I really don't think I can choose a side here, maybe I'm just "a guy who likes stuff". You guys tell me. Computers & tech fascinates me. I have taught myself some code, but never been very good at it, though I do enjoy it. I understand the inner workings of a capacitive touch-screen, a wifi-router, and an AK-47.
    I like Fantasy & Sci-Fi books & movies, (and very generally speaking, Fantasy makes better books than movies, and Sci-Fi makes better movies than books.) I'm a gamer; PC for FPS, RTS, and MMOs, consoles for everything else, though the best game ever made on any platform is of course Chess (which is followed closely by Zork). I don't usually like "this vs that" type of arguments (that's a meta joke, get it?) Whiskey or wine? Why, Yes! I like metal and jazz; pirates and ninjas, blondes and brunettes (but cake kicks pie's ass every single time.) And I may want to spend one weekend in a bar shooting pool and throwing darts and the next weekend at my desk creating packs for custom rainmeter themes. I use a PC, but not because I have anything against Apple, I just prefer to build my own computers and not spending too much for them (mine also dual-boots into Arch, though). I enjoy setting up wireless networks and calibrating home theaters, and when a computer goes wrong, my friends & family call me first. But they also call also for parties, so idk where that puts me, do nerds get that? I love math puzzles and word games, but also gun ranges & dive bars. I got a new smartphone for xmas and was rooted and had a new kernel that bypasses the locked bootloader, literally before I even looked at which apps were on the carrier's OS. I'm crazy about comic books (THEYRE GRAPHIC NOVELS, right?) and I have attended PAX and Comic-con and even a couple of tabletop D&D Gaming conventions, But also, many concerts and drag races and car shows and civilian marksmanship competitions. I Like StarWars, Star Trek is ok, but either Firefly or Dr Who are better than both put together. Where's this fall on the chart? I NEED MY LABEL, PLEASE!

  5. Dalsan M
    December 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    This graphic has blown out of proportion what a real geek is, what a real nerd is, and then added hipster to the mix. I am a nerd; over-achiever in my education as I am in two honors societies with at least a 3.9 GPA, and wind up teaching my instructors new things or why something they are teaching is wrong. I am a geek since I have strong knowledge in technologies and I am a technology hobbyist. I do not like Star Trek, don't care for Star Wars much, can't stand LOTR or things like it. I find many things stupid that others may find funny or interesting, though I am considered "cool" and "popular". I keep to myself most of the time, and choose to talk to people when necessary, but mostly speak of things that are meaningful. I am the type where I don't know many people, but then many, many people know me.

    I am mostly a nerd, but cooler than the origination of the term. Geek has changed too much over the years, and became the most misused term for anyone that wants to be "different". I use the term geek for myself instead of nerd so I don't frighten people, but I really should stop and say that I am my own brand of nerd; cool and geeky, not overbearing, but will let you know if you are wrong should I deem it necessary.

  6. Joel L
    December 26, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Looks like I'm a bit of both, lol. We need a sequel infographic showing the grand trifecta: geek, nerd, and dork!

  7. Sourabh
    December 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I feel like this article is a little bit biased towards geeks. I mean, many places its just trying to show that geeks are better than nerds, except one place (one place which I noticed)

    Likely job for a nerd: Rocket Scientist --- FTW !!!
    I don't think anything can top that.

    But yeah, the line between geek and nerd is pretty blur and will probably vanish soon.

      December 26, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      Agreed...the author, who doubtless self-identifies as a geek, seems to be pushing himself above the water of the pool by pushing down on the shoulders of the Nerd next to him...

  8. Gnurn
    December 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Stopped reading when you stated that Geek have mac and Nerd have PC.
    Too much generalization and I dont think it has anything to do with either nerds or geeks

  9. Paul Porter
    December 26, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I guess I am more geek than nerd - about 2/3 of the answers were on the geek side but 1/3 on the nerd side make me a "hybrid" -- would that mean I am a "Neek" or a "Gerd"?

  10. Kcmartz
    December 26, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Yea... Geeks use Windows, and Linux too.

    Other than that, I'm a geek.

  11. Eve A
    December 26, 2013 at 5:59 am

    Both Geek and Nerd, I suppose... though I most definitely dress in a geeky chic manner.

  12. TxBlackLabel
    December 26, 2013 at 5:54 am

    I'm cooler than my geeky friends and geekier than my cool friends.

  13. A41202813GMAIL
    December 26, 2013 at 4:58 am

    ( From Another Thread )

    Correct Me If I Am Wrong:

    A - A NERD Is A School Overachiever,

    B - A GEEK Is Someone Really Attracted To Technology.

    Putting Social Awkwardness Aside, I Consider Myself Some Kind Of ( B ), But I Seldom Was An ( A ) ( Pun Intended ).


  14. Chris
    December 26, 2013 at 3:46 am

    I fall somewhere in between. My girlfriends not a geek tho so I guess I fall more towards geek, since nerds cant leave their social caste....

  15. Rachael Leventhal
    December 26, 2013 at 3:32 am

    bred from nerds, lifelong nerd, married a nerd, raising our nerdlings.

  16. Arie W
    December 26, 2013 at 1:52 am

    can't decide.. a little bit of both

  17. Boss
    December 26, 2013 at 12:32 am

    I've been a geek all my life and I take great issue with the "macs are for geeks" idea. Geeks use both, nerds tend more toward the mac than a geek would.

    • Rachael Leventhal
      December 26, 2013 at 3:33 am

      Nerd would definitely not use a mac, unless they planned on being an apple developer.

    • Sourabh
      December 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Well I think that both can use anything, I use Linux (I've used both PC and Mac but Linux suits me the most), and I love new tech. I also like Physics but never scored A in my class, I like some movies from both categories. So what does that make me?

      I think geek and nerd are pretty much the same thing.

  18. Jon G
    December 25, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Definitely a geek - I have a life, family, am programmed in multiple techniques of humour, and actually score lower than the average for autistic traits - but with what the infographic classes as nerd interests as well. As you probably guessed from the previous sentence.

    And I'm proud Dad to a geek daughter! (My son's still finding his inner geek, but I've hopes...)

  19. Bumferry H
    December 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I always assumed that a geek was one who takes pleasure in any hobby or pass time and would get enjoyment sharing in the joy and telling people how much fun their subject of choice was, whereas a nerd would be the sort of person who tells a geek they are doing it wrong.
    I hope to god this doesn't make me sound like a nerd....
    Nerds are too serious, Geeks get all the fun in life! Go GEEK!!!

  20. Srinivas G
    December 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I think I am a Neek, or a Gerd - whatever you prefer.

  21. Molnar O
    December 25, 2013 at 11:47 am

    if that's the movie list for geeks I'm definitely a nerd...especially since over the last 15 years there hasn't been a day I didn't watch at least 2 hours of Star Trek, except when I watched Lord of the Rings for 4 hours

  22. Roger G
    December 25, 2013 at 11:01 am

    nerd and proud of it.

  23. Stevie5000
    December 25, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Is there any software that you can easily create graphs like this with? I like the art style.

    • Ben
      December 31, 2013 at 6:35 am

      It's nothing like what you're asking for but I assume just some vector editor, such as Inkscape, was used, that lets you edit shapes after drawing them. Pay attention to what you like about the colouring, texturing, orientation of stuff, "shape work", illustration style, etc. and experiment with it!
      Otherwise look up color-scheme software, infographic creation software, etc.

  24. Matthew U
    December 25, 2013 at 9:18 am

    This was posted ages ago on Makeuseof Geekyfun but now that doesn't exist this can be posted again!

  25. Tanya M
    December 25, 2013 at 6:23 am

    I would say a combination but I think I am more geek than nerd...though I fall in love with both geeks and nerds :P

    • Reetam M
      December 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      i guess i'm a geeky nerd.... :P

    • Yana
      December 31, 2013 at 8:04 am

      or a nerdy geek! :D

  26. Keefe K
    December 25, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Uh...i'm a Neek, I guess? Or a Gerd... XD

    • Di3S3L
      December 25, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      GERD translates to Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, or Acid Reflux. Trust me, you don't want to be GERD.

    • Anuj S
      January 4, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      Or a Negee...

  27. bkell
    December 25, 2013 at 5:50 am

    I refer to myself as a hacker, as do my family/friends. A geek, probably, but "hacker" is a better description of my life (58 yrs old).

    As a past Mac user, I have to disagree with the 'Apple' for geeks statement. Maybe back in the 90's, even early 2000's, but not now. They closed their system. They decide what we need to know. And, they have spied on us. To hell with Apple, they are no different than m$. If you are still being sucked into the Apple void, you may consider yourself a geek, but a better description would be a sheep! Come on all you crApple users, let's hear a rousing chorus of "bahhh - bahhh - bleehh".

    • Get My Mac On
      December 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      As a self-proclaimed hacker, you are quite misinformed about Apple.

      Apple has long been a proponent of Open Source and has contributed to the overall community in many ways including the modern day Apple releasing many of its underlying code including the Darwin Kernel.

      Please feel free to pursue.

    • bkell
      December 27, 2013 at 2:46 am

      I see no operating system source code there or by searching Apple's site.

  28. Nee Romba Dumb
    December 25, 2013 at 2:41 am

    Nee romba dumb onnai aditchi thuleerwain!
    Na naked ah irukane wrecking ball luh!

    • Fredrik
      December 25, 2013 at 2:42 am

      Uhh what?

    • Ryashini K
      December 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      This is Tamil and it translates to "You are very dumb I will bash you up! I am naked wrecking ball".

    • bkell
      December 27, 2013 at 2:51 am

      It's interesting that "dumb", "naked" and "wrecking ball" are in English. I guess there must not be words for those in that language. Which is... ?