The Evolution of the Geek – on a Flowchart

This is good – a flowchart of Geek Evolution taking us right up to these modern days where being a geek is practically encouraged. The best bit on this chart of course is the bit at the beginning explaining the orgin of the word “geek”. So it either comes from some German word “gecken” (which means to make weird noises) or from the name of a weirdy circus performer in the early 18thcentury. Huh, how things have changed.

We’re disappointed to see that everyone on this chart is a boy, but, still we appreciate the effort.. see full-size on FlowTown

In fact, being geeks as we are, couldn’t help but look up the etymology of the word “geek” on etymonline. NOT very flattering:
GEEK: “sideshow freak,” 1916, U.S. carnival and circus slang, perhaps a variant of geck “a fool, dupe, simpleton” (1515), apparently from Low Ger. geck, from an imitative verb found in North Sea Germanic and Scandinavian meaning “to croak, cackle,” and also “to mock, cheat.” The modern form and the popular use with reference to circus sideshow “wild men” is from 1946, in William Lindsay Gresham’s novel “Nightmare Alley” (made into a film in 1947 starring Tyrone Power).


Anna Leach