Difference between Nerd and Intelligent

Key Difference: The term, nerd is used to refer to a person who behaves awkwardly around other people, that he is socially inept. A nerd is usually someone who has very strong interests in technical subjects, computers, games, books, comics, etc. Intelligent refers to someone who is smart, someone who has the ability to easily learn or understand things, and the ability to deal with new or difficult situations.

 The two terms, nerd and intelligent, are commonly used to described somebody. However, the two terms refer to completely different traits. In fact, a nerd may or may not be intelligent; similarly, an intelligent person may or may not be a nerd. Hence, the two terms are not synonyms.

The term, nerd is used to refer to a person who behaves awkwardly around other people, that he is socially inept. A nerd is usually someone who has very strong interests in technical subjects, computers, games, books, comics, etc. Their interests are so strong that others might consider them obsessive. Calling someone a nerd also usually implies that the person has unstylish clothes, hair, etc., mainly because they are not bothered by the style of looks, choosing instead to focus on their interests.

While, nerd has historically been a derogatory and stereotypical term, its meaning has been changing. Today, many people proudly claim to be a nerd and have turned the term into one of pride and group identity. People proudly claim themselves to be a nerd and congregate together in online and/or game forums.

The term intelligent, however, has nothing to do with presence, behavior, style, etc. Instead, intelligent refers to someone who is smart, someone who has the ability to easily learn or understand things, and the ability to deal with new or difficult situations. Intelligence may refer to one's capacity for logic, abstract thought, understanding, self-awareness, communication, learning, emotional knowledge, memory, planning, creativity and problem solving.

Comparison between Nerd and Intelligent:

 

Nerd

Intelligent

Description (Wikipedia)

Nerd is a descriptive term, often used pejoratively, indicating that a person is overly intellectual, obsessive, or socially impaired. They may spend inordinate amounts of time on unpopular, obscure, or non-mainstream activities, which are generally either highly technical or relating to topics of fiction or fantasy, to the exclusion of more mainstream activities

Intelligence can also be more generally described as the ability to perceive and/or retain knowledge or information and apply it to itself or other instances of knowledge or information creating referable understanding models of any size, density, or complexity, due to any conscious or subconscious imposed will or instruction to do so.

Description (Merriam-Webster)

A person who behaves awkwardly around other people and usually has unstylish clothes, hair, etc.

 

A person who is very interested in technical subjects, computers, etc.

Having or showing the ability to easily learn or understand things or to deal with new or difficult situations : having or showing a lot of intelligence

In short

Smart, feels awkward in the society, has strong interests

Very smart

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