View random article

What Is a Geek?

One of the oft-used slangs used in the English language is the word Geek. In fact, the word “geek” has been in used in one form or another for more than one hundred years. For example, in the 1920’s a “geek” referred to a performer in a freak show whose “talent” is to eat bugs and other animals. In modern usage, a geek has acquired a more or less positive meaning. It now refers to a person who is very knowledgeable about a lot of things that are considered a part of a field associated with geeks, like technology and science. A geek is also associated with an extreme knowledge of science fiction, fantasy, comics and anime.

In general, a person who has a great deal of knowledge on a subject is considered a geek. This you will encounter terms like a film geek, music geek, literature geeks, among others.

At one point, geeks were considered as antisocial types and a part of a group that is considered “unpopular.” But a big paradigm shift happened with the rise of computers at home and the explosive growth of the internet and its accompanying technologies. This moment is considered as a pivotal point when being referred to as a geek stopped being pejorative but complementary. One reason for this is the sudden popularity of important personalities like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs - people who are considered geeks but are also seen as highly successful and intelligent businessmen and billionaires. Now being called a geek is considered a compliment and an acknowledgement of the person’s intelligence or vast knowledge.

Featured in Life