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January 13, 2008

The origin of 'nerd'


It comes from Dr. Seuss's 1950 book "If I Ran the Zoo," according to a review in the January 12, 2007 print edition of The Economist of David Anderegg's new book, "Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them."

The passage: "And then, just to show them, I'll sail to Ka-Troo, and bring back an It-Kutch, a Preep, and a Proo, a Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker, too!"

Longtime close readers with a better memory than me may recall that Dr. Seuss also invented the word blog, back in 1953.


You could look it up.

January 13, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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Seuss's use is non-sensical and not related to our definition of a 'nerd', thus in my humble opinion not the source of the term. I was a student at RPI in Troy, NY and other internet sources show the term originated there. I learned it as "Knurd". The frat guys were drunks and the pocket-protector adorned studious ones were the opposite - drunk spelled backwards.

Posted by: Bob | Jan 13, 2008 9:20:21 PM

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