The orginal geek bit the heads off chickens


My wife asked me what the word ‘geek’
meant.  I wanted to be sure I gave the proper definition, so
looked it up.  One thing I didn’t know was the origin of the word
‘geek’. 
I’m not sure how credible to following is, but thought I’d share with you this entry at dict.die.net:

“Originally, a `geek’ was a carnival performer who bit the heads off
chickens. Before about 1990 usage of this term was rather negative.
Earlier versions of this lexicon defined a `computer geek’ as one who
eats (computer) bugs for a living – an asocial, malodorous, pasty-faced
monomaniac with all the personality of a cheese grater.”


Comments (6)

  1. X.Static says:

    wikipedia has an exhaustive definition as well:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geek

  2. MSDNArchive says:

    thanks Jason,

    I see this Wikipedia entry confirms the fowl play:

    "A person who swallows live animals, bugs, etc., as a form of entertainment at fairs etc. This often included biting the heads off of chickens."

  3. X.Static says:

    I wonder if that makes Ozzy Osbourne a bigger geek than myself?

  4. MSDNArchive says:

    Depends….how many chickens have you chewed the head off?

  5. i knew about the lightbulb eating variety before i knew about the computer hacker flavour.

    this book is crazy – Geek Love. about a family of geeks – the parents ensure geek/freak/ status by feeding the mother all kinds of weird crap like mercury and so on during pregnancy. very odd.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/sim-explorer/explore-items/-/0446391301/0/101/1/none/purchase/ref%3Dpd%5Fsxp%5Fr0/002-2138729-1577665