What is nerd? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Internet acronyms and lingo glossary:

A nerd is a technically bright but socially inept person. The classic image of the nerd has been the wild-haired genius kid with thick-lensed glasses surrounded by test tubes and computers. Microsoft's Bill Gates is sometimes considered the walking embodiment of the older, successful nerd. As computer technology becomes less frightening and "nerdish" to larger numbers of people, society seems to be developing a more tolerant, even benevolent view of the nerd.

Although the term's origin is obscure, one theory is that it derives from a children's book by Dr. Seuss, If I Ran the Zoo , in which this passage is found:

And then, just to show them,
I'll sail to Ka-Troo
And bring back an it-kutch,
A preep, and a proo,
A nerkle, a nerd,
And a seersucker, too!"

Nerd is a more general term than geek and weenie and is somewhat comparable to propellor head .

This was last updated in August 2006
Contributor(s): Joan Maltese
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • social media

    - Social media is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction and collaboration. This definition of social media explains what it is, how it works... (WhatIs.com)

  • evil twin

    - An evil twin, in security, is a rogue wireless access point that masquerades as a legitimate hot spot. (SearchSecurity.com)

  • Net neutrality

    - Net neutrality is the principle that data on the Internet is moved blindly and impartially, without regard to content, destination or source. (SearchNetworking.com)


  • Internet acronyms and lingo

    - Terms related to Internet acronyms and lingo, including slang definitions and jargon about texting, Twitter and other social networking sites.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question
  • Earning Badges Pays Off - Literally!

    Update on Badges Rewards: Earning badges pays off - TODAY! Keep an eye on your inboxes! Best, Melanie

  • New Point System and Rankings

    I did a cut and paste my the content to not get logged. Here is what I was asking. I do like the new point system but parts of it are confusing. When you display ranking by topic it is confusing b...

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.