nerd

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See also: Nerd

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unknown. Attested since 1951 as US student slang.

  • Perhaps an alteration of nerts (nuts", "crazy); see references below.
  • The word, capitalized, appeared in 1950 in Dr. Seuss’s If I Ran the Zoo as the name of an imaginary animal:
    And then, just to show them, I’ll sail to Katroo / And bring back an It-Kutch, a Preep and a Proo, / A Nerkle, a Nerd and a Seersucker too!
  • Various unlikely folk etymologies and less likely backronymic speculations also exist.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerd (plural nerds)

  1. (slang, sometimes derogatory) A person who is intellectual but generally introverted
    • 1953 Advertisement for "Businessman's Lunch", a play by Micheal Quinn, in Patricia Brown, Gloria Mundi
      They particularly enjoy making fun of one of their fellows who is not present, whom they consider a hopeless nerd – until, that is, they learn he is engaged to marry the boss's daughter.
    • 2002, Sam Williams, Free as in Freedom:
      "We were all geeks and nerds, but he was unusually poorly adjusted," recalls Chess, now a mathematics professor at Hunter College.
    • 2009 Feb 28, “Orszag to present budget blueprint”, WBBH:
      "Yes, I am super nerd, and the whole room cracked up," Said Orszag.
  2. (informal, sometimes derogatory) One who has an intense, obsessive interest in something.
    a computer nerd
    a comic-book nerd
  3. (slang, always derogatory) An unattractive, socially awkward, annoying, undesirable, and/or boring, person; a dork.
    Only a nerd would wear yellow and blue stripes with green pants
    Nerds seem to have fun with each other, but in a way that causes others to laugh AT them.
    Why are you hanging out with that nerd?

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English nerd.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerd m (plural nerds, diminutive nerdje n)

  1. nerd

Norwegian[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from English nerd

Noun[edit]

nerd m

  1. nerd

Inflection[edit]


Portuguese[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerd m f (plural nerds)

  1. nerd (intellectual, skillful person, generally introverted)

Synonyms[edit]