YOUR GUIDE TO THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF GEEKS AND NERDS
ANORAK- a (usually) non-software geek or nerd with special interest in train-spotting, bus-spotting, plane-spotting etc; usually wears an anorak (quilted waterproof coat) and carries a notebook, pencil and sometimes a camcorder. Usage: "Phil's a real anorak - he knows every Star Trek episode by heart!"
APPRENTOID - "someone approximating an apprentice": generic term for apprentices, students, new graduates etc used as cheap labour on engineering projects' menial tasks, thus letting the geeks do more interesting things.
BEWARE GEEKS BEARING GIFTS - formulaic greeting/warning voiced when one geek arrives bearing a part (software, hardware) to another geek. The "beware" is due to the ensuing several hours' worth of tinkering with a computer to integrate and debug the new part.
BIRD-TABLING - software engineering habit of congregating around buffet leftovers from somebody else's meeting before the caterers clear it away. A valuable and economical contribution to the geek diet, freeing up valuable resources for the purchase of the latest compiler upgrade. Usage: Bird-table outside meeting room 3!
BICYCLE GEEK - the modern name for a bufty.
BLUE LIGHT SPOTTER - spotter/photographer of emergency vehicles and sometimes those who operate them.
BUFTY - a geek or nerd from the days before software engineering, usually a middle-aged gentleman with a special interest in bicycle gearing ratios; often wears tank-top knitted by relative and always carries a thermos flask. A nerd from the days before the word used.
BUS-SPOTTER - a bus and/or coach nerd; and identifiable by standing at bus-stops with a camera but not catching any buses.
COCK-A-GEEKY SOUP - reputedly a liquid lunch eaten by Scottish geeks (McGeeks) while in front of the computer playing a Star Wars-type game.
DUFFEL-COAT - another term for the type of nerd commonly known as an anorak. Usage: "Don't mind Peter, most people think he's boring - he's a real duffel-coat."
FLASH GORDON - a geek with obsessive interest in making Shockwave Flash movies.
GEEK-A-BOO - The gopher-like behavior of engineers' heads emerging from their cubicle walls to see what's happening outside (generally triggered by a disturbance or noise).
GEEK AIR FORCE - collective name for dedicated players of Flight Sim programs.
GEEKDAY - The five days Monday to Friday during which a geek gets paid for doing what comes naturally (coding, debugging ....).GEEKEND - The two days, Saturday and Sunday, when a geek either gets paid double for doing what comes naturally OR he does it at home for his own amusement and to prove that "it can be done".
GEEK EMPIRE - Silicon Valley, MIT, and the likes.
GEEKERY - (1) geekish acts (usage: "what sort of geekery is going on here?"), (2) place where numberous geeks reside or collect (similar to "rookery")
GEEK GODS - Moore, Kernighan & Ritchie, Tanenbaum and similar seminal figures. Note: but not Gates or MS.
GEEKOFRIENDLY - person, location or profession amenable to geeks.
GEEKOLOGICAL DISASTER - finding out that you are the only non-geek in a room full of geeks.
GEEKOLOCATION - the peculiar ability of geeks to locate like-minded individuals, usually by gravitating towards a science fiction convention. Note: geeks, nerds and anoraks are peculiarly susceptible to the gravitational pull exerted by science fiction conventions, railway stations and rare migratory birds only recorded once before in the entire country.
GEEKOLOGIST -a geek who studies other geeks
GEEKOLOGY - the study of geeks or more accurately the study of avoiding them.
GEEKONOMICS - the link between nerdiness and pay (a) geeks are able to command high salaries because they are the only ones who know how the purchase order database works and (b) geeks will upgrade the purchase order database in unpaid overtime for the nostalgic thrill of actually using COBOL on an obsolete operating system regardless of the financial leverage of (a).
GEEKONOMISE - the practice of geeks only talking to fellow geeks and not wasting valuable energy talking to non-geeks who haven't got a clue what they're on about.
GEEKONOMY - (1) That part of the economy which comprises geeks, computer/electronics stores and related buyers and suppliers. (2) sector of the market identified by marketing professionals in the same way as they have identified yuppies, dinkies, the pink pound etc. Specific items are aimed at the geekonomy e.g. life-size cardboard cutouts of Star Wars characters and teach "Yourself Klingon" language tapes.
GEEKOSPHERE - the area around a geek's computer. It contains all the necessities of life: fluffy stick-on bugs, Beanie Baby toys, Dilbert cartoons, 'squeeze-me-I-purr' Tribble, week's worth of paper cups from coffee machine, dead pot plant.
GEEKOSYSTEM - the flora and fauna living in a geekosphere e.g. fungal growths in old coffee cups, crickets in ancient dead pot plant. In some cases, the fauna living on the geek himself.
GEEKOWARRIOR - a geek carrying the following 'weapons' is able to clear the immediate area of non-geeks in under a minute Geekowarrior weapons include: Star Trek mug (the wide-based, untippable version), Star Trek Interplanetary Passport, ancient line printer printout, programming stencil, train-spotter's notebook.
GEEKPEDANTRY: An extreme form of pedantry. A geek possessed by this condition will not only correct spelling, punctuation and prose style, but will illustrate these corrections with examples from the classics (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Stranger in a Strange Land, Monty Python, Viz) to humorous effect. Latin puns may also be liberally sprinkled to garnish the response. Most geeks are polymaths and will take every opportunity to point out this distinction.
GEEK ORTHODOX - See GEEK GODS.
GEEK-P0RN - computer supplies catalogues, computer magazines and similar publications over which geeks become excited and enthusiastic, and ogle coveted add-ons for their system.
GEEK-REPRODUCTION - Geeks do not reproduce. However, they do wish to leave something of themselves for the next generation. This is normally "the ultimate program" (or as near to it as they can get during a lifetime's work). Creating the ultimate program is the closest anyone can get to a human/software hybrid and therefore the closest a true geek will come to reproducing. As soon as human cloning (the human equivalent of "disk-copy", "backup" or "archive") is perfected, he will be able to extend his lifetime's work indefinitely.
GEEK RESTAURANT - a place where geeks eat and drink, generally the office drinks machine and candy machine.
GEEK-SHOW - an array of geeks with varying nerd-afflictions and social tics.
GEEKSPEED The geek mind operates within its own space-time continuum, which is in complete dissonance with the space-time occupied by ordinary mortals. Thus a geek on foot will travel at speeds far in excess of normal pedestrians and may even attempt to walk through other people or objects in order to reach a destination. Alternatively, a geek in a motor vehicle sees the conventional world flashing past at an uncomfortably high speed, and will drive accordingly: at twenty miles an hour slower than the posted speed limit in the middle or outer lane of the carriageway. In extreme cases the geek's vehicle may actually be travelling backwards.
GEEKSPEEK (sic): Inter-geek mode of communication, being an odd mixture of American-English Amglish), arcane acronyms (TTFN, HTH, YMMV) and obscure references to even more obscure science fiction books, films and TV series (Soylent, TANSTAAFL, Wolf 359, Dagobah and such). A true geek will know such things as the name of Captain Picard's fish (Livingstone) and Data's cat (Spot) and will use information such as this to distance him/herself from non-geeks, much like the aliens in the TNG episode Darmok who communicated in metaphors. Geeks understand and use terms like sic and paradigm in everyday conversations. Advanced geeks communicate in Fortran, hex, octal or binary.
JOXQUIZ Noun (1) A jargon-laden geekspeak conversation, incomprehensible to outsiders. (2) Collective noun for a group of geeks having a jargon-laden geekspeak conversation.
MEMBER OF THE GUILD OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVISTS - bus spotter, train spotter and others who photograph public transport.
NERD ANIMAL - the fact that geeks and nerds tend to congregate with similar-minded people, forming packs, flocks or herds.
NERDVANA - temporary state of bliss reached when a geek achieves oneness with his computer; usually lasts until he discovers the system's limitations, or until a new "must have" piece of hardware or software arrives on the market.
PLANE-SPOTTER - an aeroplane-enthusiast nerd; carries a notebook, flight timetable, shortwave radio, Janes Defence Weekly, Thermos flask and camcorder. Congregates within view of airport runways in all weathers until removed by airport security.
STEALTH GEEK - someone who hides their nerdy interests while maintaining a normal outward appearance (may decloak when in geeky company)
STEAM-GEEK - a traction-engine enthusiast who attends steam rallies, traction engine rallies and who rebuilds traction engines and other steam-driven mechanisms (e.g. old pumping stations) in his spare time. Has magnificent collection of photos of steam-driven trucks and threshing machines.
TRAIN-SPOTTER - a railway-enthusiast nerd; carries a notebook, railway timetable and map, Thermos flask, camcorder, and stands on railway platforms in all weathers.
TREKKIES - Star Trek nerds (an insult). Star Trek fans are called Trekkers. Get these mixed up at your peril.
TWITCHER - a bird spotter who likes to note down every species he has spotted and who will drop everything and travel 200 miles because a Lesser Spotted Something-or-other (only reported twice in the country, both times before the industrial revolution) has been seen in some inhospitable part of Scotland. Like the birds that they watch, twitchers are often found in flocks.
WAGON-SPOTTER - a trainspotter who collects carriage numbers and goods-wagon numbers, looked down on by other railway enthusiasts.
Laugh if you will, but remember: the Geek shall inherit the Earth ... and the live and the neutral as well, probably.