"What's in a name? That which we call a geek
By any other word would smell as l33t."
-From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
[with liberties taken by the geekmaster]
A geek may not be called a geek in every region or country, so here are some geeky terms and their definitions in different regions. Click on the words to visit the entries on Wikipedia.
|Great Britain||Anorak||Stemming from the use of anoraks (a type of rain jacket) by train spotters, it was eventually used to refer to anyone with an unfathomable interest in detailed information regarded as boring by the rest of the population - aided by the intuition that only a geek would wear something so terminally unfashionable. Recently, this word has come to mean a blend of the nerd and geek cultures. The term was reportedly coined by Andy Archer, a disc jockey in the 1960s/1970s. Its usage became generalised to mean an obsessive enthusiast of any outdoor activity and later to an enthusiast of other unfashionable activities.|
|Spain||Friki||Originally from the English word, "freak." In Spanish, it is now also synonymous with "geek."|
|USA||Geek Chic||Much of the revisionist image of geeks started in the late 1990s and originated mostly with Hollywood celebrities such as the ones named in this article. However, this revisionism does not correct or try to quell the negative stereotypes associated with geeks. Nor does it neccesarily address the established positive aspects, such as high intelligence or special talents. Most importantly, it ignores the issue concerning the alienation or loneliness experienced by many considered to be geeks. Instead, in geek chic, selected stereotypical geek traits are affectated for comic relief or in the interest of cultivating a flamboyant, quirky public image. Celebrity examples incude Elvis Costello, Jack Black, Kevin Smith, and Conan O'Brien.|
|Scandinavia||Nørd, Nörd||Definition resembles "nerd" and "geek." Pronounced like "nerd" in English, just with different vowels for appropriate pronunciation in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.|
|Japan||Otaku||In English, an otaku (plural usually otaku, as most Japanese words have no plural form) is a variety of geek (or an overly obsessed fanboy / fangirl) specializing in anime and manga. In Japanese, the term otaku has negative connotations, but in English the term is more flexible.|
Please contact me if you want to share geek terminology from other countries or interesting cultural bits. Thanks!