StormTrooper helmet
Nov 2020

Difference between Nerd and Geek

I grew up between the late '90s and early '00s watching cartoons TV.

From what I saw on TV, a Nerd was a socially awkward person with a deep fascination on (at that time) more obscure topics such as computer engineering and the lore of comics and games.

I'd never heard the word geek until fairly recently when the Big Bang Theory turned "Geek" into a trend, and both the market and media started to spam it as a buzzword.

To be honest, I did enjoy the first season, maybe up to the second one.

At that point (early 2010's), I still have this prejudice in the back of my mind that nerd was a word reserved for the too smart, physically weak, and unpopular.

But when I heard the word geek, the context looked different; maybe because all the campaigns against bullying in schools had worked, and we evolved into a less harassing species.

Perhaps, being tech-savvy is now more compelling than ever, thanks to all the cool gadgets in the market and the high-payed jobs surrounding the tech industry.

Whatever the reason may be, being a geek sounded way better than being a nerd.

Now, it's easy to just Google what's the difference between the two. Still, many people won't do it and live with their own definitions (like me at the time) until someone changes their minds.

So, what's the difference

I must say that doing in-depth research is not one of my strengths.

Basically, I Google and take the first —at least 3— convincing sources that say different things about the same topic. Then, maybe watch a video and see how my perspective or understanding has changed, and here are the results.

Please take it with a big grain of salt.



  • Smart, and
  • Usually a nice person.


  • Lacks social life,
  • Very shy,
  • Very few friends,
  • Don't talk much,
  • Doesn't expects to be talked to much,
  • Doesn't have the social skills to go out mad make friends,and
  • Cares what other think of them.



  • Has a social life (surrounding a hobby/passion),
  • Is passionate, and
  • More outgoing than a nerd.


  • May be too passionate,
  • Only befriend with others that share the same passion, and
  • Only care about their passions.


To feed more on my confirmation bias —jk— both nerd and geek are two sides of the same coin, one that is passioned but somewhat isolated by that same passion.

The nerd is the face of knowledge, while the geek is the face of a more hands-on approach.

That's why geeks are often seen as the cool ones because they are very passionate, and that often results in skill.

I'm not looking to start a social-justice debate about the wrongs of labeling people.

I shared many of the "cons" listed for nerd, and there were times that it ended up in uncomfortable social situations. Now, I try to do more things to overcome those traits.