MovieChat Forums > Revenge of the Nerds (1984) Discussion > Did this film coin the word 'Nerd'?

Did this film coin the word 'Nerd'?


Be honest.. and if you are under the age of 40, don't even pretend you know the answer... I think the proto-typical 'nerd' with thick glasses, floods, pocket protector... was invented/created for this film, along with the name. I'm not saying nerdy guys didn't exist, but i'm saying, the depiction of them as a distinct entity did not... thoughts?

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No. The term was popularized in the 1970s by its heavy use in the sitcom Happy Days. It was very popular then.

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You're saying, they say the word 'Nerd' is in Happy Days? . Do you have any proof? In fact, i dont even recall if anyone ever even calls Fonzie a Greaser.

I know concurrently with this film, they had a 'nerd' character in Diffrent Strokes, but again, that was in response to the film.

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You're saying, they say the word 'Nerd' is in Happy Days? . Do you have any proof? In fact, i dont even recall if anyone ever even calls Fonzie a Greaser.


I take it you don't recall the episode when Joanie had a crush on Potsie and called him a "Dren" since it was the reverse of a nerd?

With Fonzie, the references were more about his leather jacket than his hair having grease.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerd#Etymology

____________________

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^ Yup. Last line above "Typical stereotype"

Boy takes poop & raps!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtadIlvB7jU

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Ok.. i'll stand corrected,... Happy Days it is... Thank you for the response.

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The term existed since the 50s.

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I was born in 1971 and I can guarantee you, we were using this term long before the movie came out.

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Yeah, I'll vouch for that, and I'm about ten years older than you.

The film was capitalizing on a popular cultural trope. It didn't invent the trope.



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No the term "nerd" had been around since the 1950's but gained popularity from the t.v. sit-com "Happy Days" when Fonzie would use the term as a pejorative.

Originally it nothing to do with someone who was smart. It was a term used for someone who was socially awkward, who was kind of dumb, who wore cheap unstylish clothes, who had an cheap unstylish hair cut, who wasn't good at sports or good with women. It was a term used to describe somebody who was irritating & annoying and unattractive etc. The person usually came from a very square family that were un-hip or cool. The family would drive a very dull & boring car etc.

The word origin is kind of vague. Some people think it came from an Edgar Bergen character "Mortier Snerd" who was an unkept socially awkward ventriloquist dummy who was kind of dumb. Somewhere along the line the "s" got dropped and the term became "nerd".

If you remember Fonzie originally referred to Potisie as a "nerd" because he was so socially awkward and annoying not because he was smart.

When I was growing up in the early 70's, they would refer to a nerd as someone who sat in the bath tube for an hour and cut farts and watched the bubbles rise up and laugh for amusement. A "nerd" was a term used for the characters in "Dumb and Dumber" not smart bookish people.

Before that really smart people were called "Book worms" or "brains or brainiacs" or "4 eyes" if they wore glasses.

I think this film changed the meaning of the term "nerd" to make it about "computer nerds" or really smart people.

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^^Nerd Alert!!

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LOL!

Sit on it!

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"I think this film changed the meaning of the term "nerd" to make it about "computer nerds" or really smart people."

Not really. Only Louis, Gilbert, and Wormser were portrayed as being particularly smart. In this movie "nerd" simply referred to any type of social outcast/misfit, which is the same thing it referred to when I was in school in the '80s. A kid named Carlton was the biggest nerd in my grade, and he wasn't smart nor did he know anything about computers. He was scrawny, clumsy, wore thick glasses, had a personality that annoyed everyone (including the teachers), was funny looking, had an old man's haircut, and wore corny clothes.

The idea of a nerd being specifically a smart person came along in the 1990s I think.

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What about the original Nutty Professor?

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Wasn't Clark Kent a nerd?

Read somewhere that "nerd" was originally spelled "knurd" -- drunk spelled backwards because they preferred studying to getting drunk. The original "squares".

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The first documented appearance of the word "nerd" is as the name of a creature in Dr. Seuss's book If I Ran the Zoo (1950), in which the narrator Gerald McGrew claims that he would collect "a Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker too" for his imaginary zoo.[3][5][6] The slang meaning of the term dates to the next year, 1951, when Newsweek magazine reported on its popular use as a synonym for "drip" or "square" in Detroit, Michigan.[7] By the early 1960s, usage of the term had spread throughout the United States, and even as far as Scotland.--Wikipedia

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