geek

geek "sideshow freak," 1916, U.S. carnival and circus slang, perhaps a variant of geck "a fool, dupe, simpleton" (1510s), apparently from Low Ger. geck, from an imitative verb found in North Sea Germanic and Scandinavian meaning "to croak, cackle," and also "to mock, cheat." The modern form and the popular use with reference to circus sideshow "wild men" is from 1946, in William Lindsay Gresham's novel "Nightmare Alley" (made into a film in 1947 starring Tyrone Power).
"An ordinary geek doesn't actually eat snakes, just bites off chunks of 'em, chicken heads and rats." [Arthur H. Lewis, "Carnival," 1970]
By c.1983, used in teenager slang in reference to peers who lacked social graces but were obsessed with new technology and computers (e.g. the Anthony Michael Hall character in 1984's "Sixteen Candles").
geek out vi. To temporarily enter techno-nerd mode while in a non-hackish context, for example at parties held near computer equipment. [Eric S. Raymond, "The New Hacker's Dictionary," 1996]

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Geek — (/gik/), parfois francisé en guik est un terme d origine américaine anglophone, qui désigne de façon péjorative, une personne bizarre qui est perçue comme trop intellectuelle[1]. Il a été ensuite très utilisé internationalement sur Internet de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Geek — (del inglés geek, pronunciado guik : IPA /gi:k/) es un término que se utiliza para referirse a la persona fascinada por la tecnología y la informática.[1] [2] [3] …   Wikipedia Español

  • Geek — [giːk] (engl. umgangssprachlich für Streber, Stubengelehrter) bezeichnet heute allgemein eine Person, die sich durch großes Interesse an wissenschaftlichen oder fiktionalen Themen auszeichnet, die üblicherweise von elektronischer (vgl.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Geek U.S.A. — «Geek U.S.A.» Canción de The Smashing Pumpkins Álbum Siamese Dream Publicación 27 de julio de 1993 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Geek — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Гик (значения). Гик (англ. geek, IPA giːk)  сленговый термин, характеризующий эксцентричного человека, «помешанного» на каком либо роде занятий. Однако чаще всего термин употребляется… …   Википедия

  • geek — [giːk] noun [countable] informal COMPUTING someone who knows a lot about a technical subject, usually computers, but who is not good at communicating with people; = NERD: • He is a 15 year old computer geek who spends all day gaming. * * * geek… …   Financial and business terms

  • geek — (g[=e]k), n. 1. A performer in a carnival, often presented as a wild man, who performs grotesquely disgusting acts, such as biting the head off a live chicken or snake. [PJC] 2. Hence: Any eccentric or strange person; an oddball; an eccentric.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • geek — [gi:k] n [Date: 1800 1900; Origin: Perhaps from Low German gek stupid person ] informal someone who is not popular because they wear unfashionable clothes, do not know how to behave in social situations, or do strange things = ↑nerd ▪ a computer… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • geek — [ gik ] noun count INFORMAL someone who is boring, especially because they seem to be interested only in computers ╾ geek|y adjective …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • geek — /geek/, n. Slang. 1. a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken. 2. a peculiar or offensive person, esp. one who is perceived to be overly intellectual. 3. an expert in… …   Universalium

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