Sheldon Cooper or Tony Stark? What’s the difference between Geek and Nerd

These two terms are in vogue right now, especially on TV and on the Internet, so let's see what the substantial difference is between these two English words

As Nanni Moretti would say, "words are important". That's why it's time to face a long-standing debate: what's the difference between the term geek and nerd? It may seem a trivial question, but on the Net there are real diatribes on forums born from this simple doubt.

The main problem in distinguishing these two terms comes from their language of origin, namely English. In many texts or dictionaries of the English language these two words are used very often as synonyms. Yet in reality they have shades of meaning that can distinguish them in a clear way. Also because they are terms with fairly recent use and therefore with contexts of use in the process of growth or change. Geeks are those people with a passion for something, such as collectors. While nerds are those who are passionate about scientific subjects and about putting them into practice.

Are you a geek or a nerd?

This first analysis is only partially true because it does not take into account the social implications associated with the two terms. The term Geek comes from a particular carnival figure, used in the early 1900s, who used to do bizarre and disgusting things, such as biting off the head of a chicken. With time this term began to be used to indicate those people who lost their minds for something. That is, who became strongly passionate about a subject. At the beginning it was specifically used for technology lovers, but then it was also used by lovers of wines, cars, TV series and so on. Today's Geek is a person who does not have particular social problems, he is a sociable person but often verbose and long-winded. And the wrong phrase to say to him is: "I heard you like comics". He might stop you to talk for hours about his favorite topic. The word Nerd on the other hand has a date of birth, it was coined in 1954, by a young doctor named Seuss. Basically, the term was used to refer to a somewhat annoying person who doesn't conform to the standards of the era they live in. The nerd has a brilliant mind but poor interpersonal and social skills.

How to tell them apart

Distinguishing them is easy. Just pay attention to their phrases. A nerd usually uses very technical terms that are unclear to most people, often quoting scientific words. A geek on the other hand tends to use a lot of quotes or terms related exclusively to his main passion. In short, to make it even shorter, take two characters from TV, comics and cinema quite famous. The first is Tony Stark, the protagonist of the Iron Man series. He is a geek for technological innovation and weapons. The second instead is Sheldon Cooper, protagonist of the TV series Big Bang Theory. He is the epitome of a nerd.