25 Facts about Geeks

The word “Geek” comes from the English dialect geek or geck, meaning a “fool” or “freak”.

Computer Geek is a term for a person, male or female, who has above-average expertise in computer technology. A computer Geek may be an expert in programming, networking or other specialized fields of computer science. He or she may use those skills in computer-specific careers or have more of a devoted hobbyist’s interest.

Geeks and Nerds ARE NOT the same thing.

A Geek does not need a computer or calculator to be a Geek. He/she can have an obsession with anything, motorbikes, dog food, UFOs, dogs, horses, Chutney…You get the idea.

The term Geek was originally used in a derogatory sense, but many computer professionals came to embrace the term and began using it as a badge of pride. The term has gained such popularity that fans of other professional and recreational pursuits also may describe themselves as Geeks.

The word Geek originated with American carnival workers, or carnies, of the 20th century. It referred to a person who traveled with the carnival freak show, biting the heads off chickens or other live animals. The modern usage seems to stem from how the carny Geeks were shunned even by other carnies, who were themselves social outsiders. People who embrace the modern usage of the word do not deny this earlier definition; some Geek T-shirts available in the 1990s and 2000s even emphasized the carny connection.

Geek chic is a fashion trend that embraces stereotypically geeky clothing and accessories and reinterprets them as cool, hip, and highly desirable. Perhaps the most prominent feature of Geek chic is the use of black- or horn-rimmed glasses. The birth and growth of Geek chic is tied to the proliferation of technology and its acceptance in mainstream society. Because Geek chic is the reinterpretation of Geek style as cool, an idealization of geekiness is a precursor to the development of Geek chic.

While Geek’s aren’t officially mentioned in the Bible, the words “develop” and “code” do appear, so Geeks were clearly a part of the culture.

Geeks can type faster than the average human can think.

Geeks can be very good at karate.

If a Geek is busy, don’t interrupt them. Never talk to a Geek who is in the middle of a project, even if they talk to you first or continue talking while working. They’re most likely doing this to be nice, because people don’t seem to like being ignored in the middle of a conversation.

Geeks are humans. They have feelings, goals, and often a huge ego. They have their own likes and dislikes, and that set of likes/dislikes isn’t shared by all Geeks. Geeks are not something you watch in a natural habitat on Discovery. They are people.

Six of the top ten people in Vanity Fair’s most influential people list for 2010 were Geeks: Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook; Steve Jobs – Apple; Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Erick Schmidt – Google; Jeff Benzos – Amazon; Larry Ellison – Oracle; Evan Williams and Biz Stone – Twitter.

Geeks make a great boyfriend/girlfriend – Loyalty runs in their veins. If a Geek can be so loyal to their favourite gadget manufacturer, operating system, TV show, movies, fantasy heroes and so on, imagine what happens when they meet that special person. To top that, when we are in a serious relationship we feel like “the chosen one” and that’s something you just can’t risk losing.

A true computer Geek has a specific dress code: A comfy pair of jeans (or no pants at all if they work from home), a t-shirt which is at LEAST four years old and contains a minimum of three strangely inexplicable stains, and a pair of shoes that straddle the blurry line between slippers and sneakers. During winter, they may take the trouble to add an old faded hoodie to this ensemble, or else they’ll just neglect to shave until Spring arrives. This last point depends on the amount of clean clothes at their disposal, and whether they can reach them from the comfort of their desk.

Geeks often take interest in the microcosmic details of life, such as noticing that your present situation is much like one from a news article or novel.

In addition to populating IT departments the world over, you can find Geeks in artistic jobs like web design, graphic design, or game designs. You may find Geeks behind the bar, in your local record store, or pulling espressos at the coffee shop.

Common jobs held by Geeks include: Web design/development, IT professional, Marketer, Graphic Designer, Game Designer, Barista at an indie coffee shop, Entrepreneur, Record Store Clerk, Bartender.

Nearly one fifth of Americans consider themselves a Geek! In fact, 57 percent of Americans consider it a compliment to be called a Geek, and 17 percent identify themselves as a Geek.

18-34 year olds are more than twice as likely as any other age group to consider themselves Geeks.

The most popular Geek-names for little baby boys: Bertram, Clarence, Durwood, Egbert, Elmer & Gomer, Melvin, Mervin, Norbert, Orville, Sherwin & Sherwood.

Geeks are often people who choose concentration rather than conformity; who passionately pursue skill (especially technical skill) and imagination, not mainstream social acceptance.

Geek Day – May 25th is also famous for “Towel Day”, the day two weeks after Douglas Adams passed in 2001, when hoopy froods keep their towel handy. Also, it is the anniversary of the first Star Wars film, Episode IV: A New Hope, released on May 25, 1977. Finally, “Glorious 25 May”, the day in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld when wearing lilac and hard-boiled eggs (and raising awareness around Alzheimer’s research) is appropriate.

Greek Pride Day in Spanish: “Día del orgullo friki!”

Just in case Geek Pride Day isn’t enough for you… Pi Approximation Day is held on July 22, or in the more common day/month date format as 22/7, which is an approximate value of π. Now if that’s not a bit geeky, we don’t know what is.