Geek? Nerd? Dork? Spaz? Which Are You?

What are we talking about, here? You mean, there’s slight differences? Let’s look first at the dictionary’s meanings (it never could conceptualize popular culture accurately).

Geek: 1. A computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.) 2. A peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual. 3. A circus performer who bites the heads off of chickens.

Nerd: 1. A stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person. 2. An intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit: a computer nerd.

Dork: A stupid or ridiculous person; jerk; nerd.

Spaz: 1. A grotesquely awkward person. 2. An eccentric person.

Now, let’s take it down to street talk. Given the propensities you have today, which category would you insert yourself into given the more common concepts (below) of these categories? (BTW, don’t say you aren’t one of them, you read my blog)

Geek: A geek has a singular focus, whether it’s World of Warcraft, LARP’ing, computers, games. If you’re a geek, someone’s saying you have a focus of your weirdness and expertise. Some famous geeks include Bill Gates and Tony Hawk. The character of “Sheldon” on “Big Bang Theory” is a geek (although he cradles the "spaz" category as well).

A nerd can be quite broad and general. A nerd is likely to possess the trivial knowledge that impresses folks. They remember the ratio of those with albino pigmentation to the general population or can speak intelligently in most arenas of topics. A nerd is well read. A nerd is serious about being smart across the board. He has something to say about every subject. If anyone’s listened to interviews with Steve Martin—he’s a nerd. The character of Fraser on TV was a nerd.

Dork: Uncomfortable in social situations and dresses for the wrong decade. He is superficially not quite like everyone else. There’s just something otherworldly (marching to another drummer) about him as if he thinks he’s from another time or place. A couple of celebrity dorks include Johnny Depp and the character of Howard on "Big Bang Theory."

A spaz is like a dork on crack. He is likely to be so eccentric in his appearance that he looks like every day is a SciFi convention. He’s likely to be very klutzy and awkward in his own skin. He has trouble with any conversation and actually scares people off with his ability to draw strangers into a conversation about the technical merits of one cell phone compared to another while they’re standing in the aisle at Best Buy (when you didn’t ask for help). It’s real easy to think a spaz has a mental disorder. I’d put Joaquin Phoenix in the Spaz category as of late. I’d put Mel Gibson there actually because he’s not really lucid during conversations and he’s all over the place, but I think that’s just unmedicated bipolar disorder with mania. Honestly, when people interview her, it's apparent that Renee Zellwegger is a Spaz.

1. Nerd. (Yeah, this is me. I know a little bit about enough to talk to anyone)
2. Dork. (I am known to sometimes wear something dorky like a big fluffy old robe and thick socks to the pool area or walk around all day with a huge puffy ponytail and my tiny glasses perched on my nose)
3. Geek. (I have my expertises, but not extreme)
4. Spaz. (My friends might argue this because they call me a spaz, but I do still manage to make perfectly normal social interactions with people without scaring them off or making them shake their heads, however physically, I'm energetically spastic).

So, what are y'all?


  1. I think it's obvious from my online namesake that I'm a hardcore geek! But I don't care!

  2. All of the above, well I could think of a few more classifications I would throw in to go with my personality.

  3. HN;
    Totally a geek! The best kind too--Halloween!

    I am intrigued, now you must confess those other personality bits.

  4. I am probably more geeky than nerdy but definitely not a spaz.

  5. MM;
    So I can't use the nickname "Monkey Spaz"? Geek is good. Geeks actually are successful folks. I love a good geek when they get talking about their area of expertise. It's the most enthralling conversation because they can repeat statistics, less common knowledge and relate it to other thing like Sheldon on "Big Bang Theory," everything can be related to Star Trek.

  6. I'm definitely somewhere between a dork and a nerd. I'd say geek, but I'm not singularly focused.

  7. I feel like I'm all of the above. Lol!! I fit 'em all.

  8. Leo;
    I totally don't get the dork from you and I've met you in person, so I know. Nerd, most definitely.

    I can't picture you being any of them. Oh hell, it's just like "Revenge of the Nerds," and everyone has a bit of all of these in them. When I'm around conservative uptight folks, I feel like a spaz. When I'm with trophy wives, I feel like a geek. All the time I feel like a nerd. I feel like a dork when I'm on ghost hunts because I wear a tool belt.

  9. A bit of each fits me.

  10. Echo;
    Yup. Most folks do feel that way. I'm all four but to different degrees.

  11. I'm a nerdazork. My own species.

  12. CB;
    I swear, when I read your awesome blog, I am certain you're a spaz, but knowing your humor and intelligence, I'd call you mostly nerd with a fairly good dose of dork and a tinge of spaz.

  13. I suppose it would help if I explain why then.

    Geek: I'm a Level 80 Mage (I can't get the expansion, No moneys! :() on WoW. I also have a 73 Hunter, a 73 Priest, A 49 Druid, a 32 Paladin, and a 22 Lock. ^.^
    LARPing sounds like fun... And my friend is getting me into Cosplaying.

    Nerd: I'm extremely well read, And well rounded. I went to school for Computers, I can talk about cars, I possess VERY random bits of Information (I can tell you how many more bones a cat has than a human, different reasons cat do things, old myths about things... And I'm a text book for AP 1 now :-p)

    Dork: As extroverted as I am, I always feel misplaced, no matter what crowd I'm in. I usually dress differently... And if I had the money I'd so Dress Lolita.

    Spazz - ^^^^ Lol People also usually stop talking to me because I can tell them all about the history of belly dance, and argue as to why it is not stripping... If they get me going on a subject then I ramble about it like crazy.

    I'm just an odd ball. :-p

  14. Soraya;
    I might just have to make you the vice president of this nerd/dork/spaz/geek kingdom. :-)

  15. /WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes! lol Oh specialness! It's all good, I'm a good looking GeekNerdDorkSpaz, So I'm ok with it all :-p

  16. True, I know what you mean. I put on my little eyeglasses and a ponytail when I want to look the part.

  17. Hmmm...I'm sure I'm somewhere between Dork and Spaz....I know! I'm a SPORK! No, wait..that's one of those spoons with prongs! Tee Hee!

  18. if you ask different people... i would be any one of those. i am proud to be something, i never was anything until the internet.

    i am a blogeek, internerd, myspazz and cyberdork...

    look i made up words or did i...
    i take credit when they end up in the dorktionary... hey another one...
    i could go all day!

  19. iZombie;
    Fantastic terms! You should make a post just of these new expressions. They're great!

  20. I bite the heads off of chickens, but not professionally.

  21. How fun. I would like say I am a nerd - definately a Halloween nerd. :D


  22. The Frog Queen;
    If Halloween is an obsession, you may be a geek.

  23. LOL! Well, now that I read the full description of Geek. You are right :D - Except being vegetarian, that biting the heads off of chickens part...not really my thing.



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