The Evolution of the Geek [Infographic]

Are you a geek? Walyou is about tech and gadgets, but also geek culture. Let’s take a look at the Evolution of the Geek to see where you fit into our community.

The word geek is said to originate from the word “gecken,” which back in the 16th century meant fool. A couple of years later, the same word was used for a performer that would bite off the head of a chicken in 18th Century Hungary (you must’ve been really hungry in your past life … get it? ah, never mind). Thankfully, the popularity of gnawing off body parts of live animals was dying down, so that a couple hundred years later, the word ‘gecken’ evolved into ‘Geek,’ meaning one of a high academic/science/technology skill level. Finally, we’ve arrived to a new usage of the term. It is no longer associated with dork, dweeb or nerd; it is a category in its own right … in fact, one that’s even becoming cool to use (ahem … geek chic). A geek is now a person that is passionate and/or highly skilled in almost any unique field. But don’t take my word for it … let’s take a look at the evolution of the geek.

by Flowtown via

So, this begs the question which we all know  is dying to be answered … What kind of geek are you? Leave your answers in the comment selection below and Get Your Geek On!

19 thoughts on “The Evolution of the Geek [Infographic]

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  2. Finisterre.

    ..And the mansplainin’ commences! Bingo cards at the ready!

    So far I count:

    – It’s a ‘generic’ figure! So, obviously, the default is a dude! Changing it in different picture would require an effort of superhu… er… YOU’RE JUST LOOKING TO BE OFFENDED!

    – Who cares if they’re all dudes? NOT ME! Anyway, if we included even one then you wimminz would demand more and more until you took over completely and HELP MY PRIVILEGE WILL BE SQUISHED IF I CONCEDE ANYTHING AT ALL.

    – It’s not sexism! It’s just easier to draw men… because women require… more strokes of the pen… and…something.

    Keep it coming, dudebros! Keep fighting the good fight! The cause of *never* just saying ‘Yeah, there are masses of female geeks so perhaps they could have got just a teensy look-in’ is a BRAVE AND NOBLE ONE and definitely a brilliant use of your time. Yeah.

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  6. Sorin.

    I’m a kool geek – I rock at anything kool (stopped using the letter “c” a long time ago, “k” is kooler).

  7. fontgoddess.

    And, apparently, there are no girl geeks in this geek taxonomy. Your loneliness is self-inflicted, as Comic-Con was attended by all sorts of girls but the geeks & nerds keep forgetting or discounting their presence.

    I am a pop culture geek (academic subtype with special interests in comics, literature, music, and film), tech geek, design geek, and Broadway geek.

  8. Mike Powe.

    Fantasy Football is for lawyers who pretend to be so busy that they can only commit to maintaining their team once a week.

    Fantasy Baseball on the other hand requires meticulous research, a thought-out draft strategy, constantly scanning the free agent pool, bickering with friends over trades on a DAILY basis. The sport spawned sabremetrics, come on!

    “This ain’t a football game, we do this everyday.”
    ~ Earl Weaver

    1. Dustin.

      It isn’t about whether or not girls can be geeks.

      The iconography used is the same little stick figure, merely dressed/colored differently through the entire poster.

      Seems pretty clear to me that the poster isn’t about defining geeks as male/female – but instead is about using a simple representation of a generic geek throughout all the assorted iterations.

      To get upset about that misses the point, and is a sign of someone looking to take offense, imho.

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  12. Chris.

    What’s the big deal with all of them being guys. If you included just one girl then you’d all be complaining that there is more than just one type of female geek. You’d have to have a female in every category to avoid alienating anyone. You want females? Go create your own.

    I would call some of those geek types nerds, not geeks.

  13. Breanna.

    Hum… not a fan.

    I think the first two tiers are geeks and the rest are more just pop-culture posers. I mean how many people are really twilight geeks for life? And are any of the lower tier geeks really geeks even if they aren’t uber academic about their subject matter specialty? I don’t think watching lots of movies and failing to understand how to interact with real people really qualifies you as a geek.

    All that aside I’m also kinda annoyed by the gender bias thing (very ungeek) but I’d be willing to look past that even if the information seemed truly accurate.

  14. Silverstar98121.

    I am an old (60yo)lady of the internet and geocaching geek persuasion.I am also a knitting geek, which if you check out the lace knitting patterns on Ravelry, you will find are pretty complex, and geeky. This ain’t your grandma’s knitting.
    I am also astounded that you included no female figures. There’s a whole organization of female geeks called “She’s Geeky.” Hey Marie Curie was a geek a century ago.

  15. Ariela Ross.

    Ladies … I think that the ‘exclusion’ of girl figures from the infographic is only due to the fact that geeky boys typically all look the same whereas all of us geeky girls have our own unique looks, which would be difficult to represent in a visualization like this. Maybe someone will create a “types of girl geeks” infographic?


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