The terms Geek and Nerd have been around for a very long time but it is only in the last 10 years or so that they have really become popular and used as a positive way to describe yourself. Once being called a geek or a nerd was a serious insult. It normally described people who found it very hard to speak to people in a social situation, could not talk to the opposite sex and spend a lot of time studying and learning. 20 years ago playing video games was not very cool and the term nerd and geek was also associated with that movement, now video games are very popular and played by all sorts of people.
The TV show “The Big Bang Theory” also helped make geeks and nerds popular and cool and it is a very funny and useful show to watch if you want to learn more terms around this subject.
The terms used in this guide are all slang and many are only rally used online or on messaging services like WhatsApp as well as online gaming platforms. These terms are fun to use and very useful to understand if you are learning English and you are a bit of a geek or nerd yourself.
Pwned – This word is a misspelling of the word “powned” which originally comes from the word “owned. It means to be beaten and dominated. The original term came from World of WarCraft when a player was beaten the computer game said “you have been owned” but there was a spelling error and it said, “pwned”. This can be used if you have in any way been beaten in a game or by a task.
Noob – This is a derivation of the word “newbie” which means someone new and someone who doesn’t know very much. Again, this comes from video game culture but is used in other ways. If you were new to a workplace someone might call you a noob but it would be quite a geeky thing to say.
Woot – This is a very interesting word that came from role-playing board game culture. It was once used when the characters in the game found some treasure or “loot” and they said, “wow, loot”. This was shortened to woot. But since then it has simply become a word to describe the excitement in the geek and online world. “I have a day off work woot!” would be a good example of how to use it.
Fanboy – This word is used to describe someone who is an extreme fan or follower of a certain game, TV show, comic or any kind of medium. The term refers to someone who likes something so much they are not able to hear any negative comments about it. Many people like Apple products a lot and often these people are called “apple fanboys” because they will not consider using any other type of phone.
Easter Egg – While you may know this term and think it describes chocolate eggs given out around Easter time there is another meaning. In the geek world, Easter eggs are hidden items or moments placed in a movie, TV show or video game. These items, mentions, references or secret things are things geeks love. It is assumed only true fans of a movie or game would see and find the Easter egg. In gaming terms Easter eggs are often hidden in very hard parts of the game. The term actually came from the 1975 movie “the Rocky Horror Picture Show” where the cast had a traditional Easter egg hunt but most of the eggs were never found. However, they could be seen in the movie in silly places throughout the duration.
These are just a few terms you might come across when speaking to people online playing games or just speaking to people who enjoy the geeky nerd culture. While these terms do not really make up part of learning English they are words that are used and therefore can be helpful to understand.