nerd

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See also: Nerd and NERD

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • knurd (folk etymology, very rare)
  • nurd (very rare)

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!
  • Possibly a rebracketing of inert as a nert, as in he's inert = he's a nerd, in reference to one's competence or athletic ability.
  • 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 February 28, “Orszag to present budget blueprint”, in 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.
    Synonym: geek
    Hyponym: otaku
    a computer nerd
    a comic-book nerd
    Synonyms: dag (Australian), geek, propeller head
  3. (informal, sometimes derogatory) A member of a subculture revolving around intellectualism, technology, video games, fantasy and science fiction, comic books and assorted media. [from 1980s]
  4. (informal, sometimes derogatory, dated) One who is socially inept or unattractive, but often brainy; a social outcast.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Dutch: nerd
  • Faroese: nørdur
  • Finnish: nörtti
  • Icelandic: nörd
  • Norwegian Bokmål: nerd
  • Norwegian Nynorsk: nerd
  • Polish: nerd
  • Portuguese: nerd
  • Spanish: nerd
  • Swedish: nörd
  • Turkish: nörd

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English nerd.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerd m (plural nerds, diminutive nerdje n)

  1. nerd

Derived terms[edit]

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Norwegian Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia no

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English nerd.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerd m (definite singular nerden, indefinite plural nerder, definite plural nerdene)

  1. a nerd

References[edit]

Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Norwegian Nynorsk Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia nn

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English nerd.

Noun[edit]

nerd m (definite singular nerden, indefinite plural nerdar, definite plural nerdane)

  1. a nerd

References[edit]

Polish[edit]

Polish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia pl

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English nerd.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

nerd m pers

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

Declension[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • nerd in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Portuguese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unadapted borrowing from English nerd.

Pronunciation[edit]

 

Noun[edit]

nerd m or f by sense (plural nerds)

  1. nerd (intellectual, introverted and quirky person)
    Synonyms: totó, (Brazil) CDF

Adjective[edit]

nerd (invariable)

  1. nerdy (who is a nerd)

Usage notes[edit]

Until recently, this word was somewhat pejorative. Nowadays it is used both negatively and positively.

Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unadapted borrowing from English nerd.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈneɾd/ [ˈneɾð̞]
  • Rhymes: -eɾd
  • Syllabification: nerd

Noun[edit]

nerd m or f by sense (plural nerds)

  1. nerd