Slang City Mail

Click here get this free weekly newsletter delivered to your e-mailbox! Want to see more? Go back to All the Words main page.

March 20, 2003

Slang of the Week: nerd (noun)
A boring person who studies a lot

Example:
After James calculated pi to 4,000,000,000 decimal places without using a computer, his friends voted him "Nerd of the Year."

Celebrity quote:
"Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one."
- Bill Gates

Like its synonym, geek, nerd is often used to describe people working in the computer field. Because of the rise of computer engineers in the last twenty years, people now associate nerds with good salaries and the word has lost some of its insult value.

A couple of years ago, for example, my neighbor came home with a tiny silver Audi sports car. To complete the image of luxury, he had also gotten a personalized license plate, which explained how he could afford the car. It proudly stated "GEEK." But not everyone thinks that's something to be proud of - here's a typical nerd joke:

A nerd was walking on the college campus when he saw his nerdy friend riding a brand new bicycle. "Where did you get that bicycle?" he asked.

"Well," replied the other nerd, "Yesterday I was walking home when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She stopped, threw the bicycle on the ground, took off her clothes and said, "Take what you want!"

"Good choice," said the first nerd. "Her clothes probably wouldn't have fit you."

What's new at Slang City?
Who are Muffy and Biff and what are they doing with Grey Poupon mustard? This week, we honor a musical request from Dylan for a translation of Aerosmith's Eat the Rich.