Difference Between Nerd and Geek

Main Difference – Nerd vs Geek  

Many people assume that nerd and geek have the same meaning, but this is not true. There is a distinct difference between nerd and geek. A nerd is a person who is very interested and very good in academics whereas a geek is a person who is extremely or obsessively interested in a particular field, which is not necessarily academic. The main difference between nerd and geek is that nerds have weaker social skills than geeks.

Who is a Nerd

A nerd is a person who is very interested in academic and technical subjects, and who lacks social skills. Nerds might show extreme interest and fascination with academia; they look for jobs that suit their interests; they usually end up in fields related to applied sciences like scientists, computer programmers, etc.

Since many people do not share an interest in scientific theory and applications, nerds tend to keep to themselves. They are often described as introverted and socially inept. They might not know how to respond properly in conversations and behave awkwardly around people. Nerds usually have a tendency to make friends with people who share their complex academic interests. Their interest might include various fields such as physics, calculations, chess, comic books, computer programming, coding, etc. They might be ideal and impractical in practical situations.

When we look at the physical appearance of a nerd, he may usually have unstylish clothes, hair, etc. In general, nerds are more conservatively dressed than geeks.Difference Between Nerd and Geek

Who is a Geek

A geek is a person who shows a vested interest in a particular field and knows it on an expert level. Their knowledge can vary from simply boring to an expert level. Their interests might include various things like gaming, computing, collecting cool gadgets, coding, hacking, sci-fi and superhero movies, etc. It is possible that he or she may have more than one interest, but one subject always takes precedence over the others. Because of their obsession with a particular thing or subject, others may see him as boring and pretentious. When compared with nerds, geeks have better social skills. But their extreme interests can also bore others since they can go off at length about their favorite comic, movie, game, etc.

Geeks tend to end up in jobs that let them engage in their interests and use their expertise for a more practical purpose. Computer programming, writing, graphic designing, or animating are some of the fields they choose.

Geeks can sometimes be identified by their clothes. The clothes can be a reflection of interest. Due to their obsession with a thing, they can also be slovenly.

Main Difference - Nerd vs Geek

Difference Between Nerd and Geek  


Nerd shows an extreme interest in academics.

Geek shows an interest in particular fields; the field is not necessarily academic.

Social Skills

Nerds are more socially inept than geeks.

Geeks have better social skills.


Nerds dress conservatively.

Geeks’ dress often reflects their interests.


Nerds often choose jobs in scientific and technical fields.

Geeks choose jobs that are related to their interest.  


Nerds’ can be physics, calculations, chess, computer programming, etc.

Geeks’ interests might include computing, collecting cool gadgets, superhero movies, etc.Difference Between Nerd and Geek - infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Nerd” by  Patricia Cerda via Flickr via

“Geek/Nerd/Dork/Dweeb Venn Diagram” by Yashodhan Thalwar via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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