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Any connection to "nerdiludium" (Latin for backgammon)?

1. There may be an expression of silly excessive scholarship denoted "nerdiludium" In Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, an instance of excessive scholarship is given in a footnote (Chapter 31 footnote 46), on the subject of the game of Nerdiludium: "Dr. Hyde, who diligently traces the history and varieties of the nerdiludium (a name of Persic etymology) from Ireland to Japan, pours forth, on this trifling subject, a copious torrent of classic and Oriental learning." De Ludis Orientalibus, Oxford, 1694, Dr. Thomas Hyde, p. 65. Chinensium-Nerdiludium (The Nerd Game of the Chinese)

2. Equally possible is the concept of one obsessed with knowledge of a "Nerd Game" as indicated in the Gibbon text to which the above is a footnote, concerning skill in the Nerdiludium game as a measure of status among the Romans: "The confederates are united by a strict and indissoluble bond of friendship, or rather of conspiracy; a superior degree of skill in the Tesserarian art (which may be interpreted the game of dice and tables) (footnote 46) is a sure road to wealth and reputation."

Not always derogatory[edit]

In the community of skilled informaticians, words 'geek' and 'nerd' are not considered as derogatory. On a contrary - they are synonyms of true professionals devoted to their job/hobby. Maybe the etymology was derogatory but now - as the language is alive - the meaning is different. Especially in IT-specialists' world, maybe for other it remains unchanged and is still derogatory. Chesteroni 16:46, 27 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, your last disclaimer CYA - because is sounds like you don't hear much converstion outside your 'community'. Adopting the pejorative term and using it in a not-derogatory way does not mean the meaning has changed significantly. For an analogy, see "nigger". Same goes for 'geek' and 'engineer'. A sub-definition that might be added might be 'someone that fantasizes that they control information and people just because they are responsible for maintaining the communications hardware'. 17:36, 24 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Alternative Etymology[edit]

During my first day at Dartmouth College, I was told that students there were either 'drunks' (geologists rolled kegs of beer into their classrooms, as the sun set) or 'knurds' ('drunk' spelled backward). All, somehow, were fine scholars. (Check an early scene in 'MASH', the movie.) Dartmouth has a ski jump, from its days as training site for the winter Olympics, I was told. (Not all may have been so scholarly.)

'Dr Seuss' had written for the student magazine while there; and I suspect an industrious scholar might find a reference in one of these early articles for 'knurd'. Whether the word preceded Geissel's attendance, I don't know. However, I used 'knurd' as common slang at college long before I was aware of 'nerd' in national use. -Bruce Bathurst, Geologist 23:06, 22 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Would be nice to have a date for this reminiscence. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 16:56, 11 July 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Def is way off.[edit]

"intellectual,skilled in one or more fields, and generally introverted." That def is WAY off. First, it says that simply being intellectual makes you a nerd. second, it says that nerds are introverted. The key term is "overly intellectual". Having A's in school doesn't necessarily make one nerdy.

As for the introversion, that may not be the case. Most nerds are either socially excluded (not allowed in conversations and peer groups), or socially inept (lacking social skills entirely.) I have heard of many nerds in schools that want to be extroverted, but cant, because of bullies, sometimes leading them to suicide. If they were introverted, they wouldn't care.

Also, "nerd" is a really common term for referring to a person heavily obsessed with a fantasy interest (e.g. comics, Pokémon), both as a derogatory ref and a reclaimed term.

Nerd is one of the few derogatory terms with no standard definition. It just refers to people with odd interests, personalities, appearance, etc. It also has a different meaning when reclaimed by a targeted group (e.g. scientists, retro video game enthusiasts). The more common derogatory meaning is "a person who is overly intellectual, obsessive, odd, or socially impaired." But in reclaimed usage, it refers to any person heavily interested in something. Ticklewickleukulele (talk) 21:20, 14 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Would you like me to take this discussion to the Tea room for more visibility (which I think it deserves)? JamesjiaoTC 21:38, 14 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
yes Ticklewickleukulele (talk) 01:46, 17 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

alternative etymology from reliable source[edit] --Espoo (talk) 10:28, 17 April 2016 (UTC)[reply]

You're talking about the "Mortimer Snerd" theory, I guess. It would be interesting to see that 1941 work mentioned in text. Wakuran (talk) 14:12, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]