Collective Noun for Geeks

Here at ScienceBlogs, we have a back-channel where the bloggers can get together and chat. In one of our threads, I was telling a story about work, and an interesting question came up. What’s the collective noun for a bunch of geeks?

Collective nouns are cool and funny. Some of them are straightforward: a herd of cows, a pack of wolves. Some are goofy: a wake of vultures, a destruction of cats (that’s north american wildcats), an ostentation of peacocks. And there are some fascinating ones: a parliament of ravens, an exaltation of larks.

I don’t know of any good collective noun for a bunch of geeks. But I think we need one! So what should it be? Fire away in the comments.

0 thoughts on “Collective Noun for Geeks

  1. Eric

    In school, my group of friends was called the “nerd herd.” I like the idea of a herd – because it implies that you have to do some work to get us to go to the same place, which though possibly not true in a physical sense, usually is in an intellectual sense.

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  2. Boosterz

    Sounds like it just needs a little D&D rubbed on it. Clearly a collection of geeks is a “Party of geeks”.
    Now hand me a d20 so I can show everybody what a vorporal blade can do *rolls a 1* oh damn…cleric!

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  3. Xanthir, FCD

    I like a computation of geeks just for the random factor, but going for pure compsci geekery probably isn’t that great.
    I vote for party, personally. (Oh, and it’s vorpal.)

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  4. Bobryuu

    I think it depends on the reason for which the geeks are meeting, or the type of geeks that they are. Computer geeks could form arrays, while DnD nerds form parties. Physics geeks might be galaxies, and Chemists condensates, and biologists populations. A sentence of Linguists.
    What can be geekier than a specific qualifying collective noun?

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  5. Jérôme

    A “cluster” of geeks sounds obvious.
    A “net” of geek is fine, maybe “network” would also fit.
    And a third one, though I like it a bit less: a “package” of geeks.

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  6. Morgan

    If we’re going for something universal, we need a common factor between all the sub-clades.
    An argument of geeks.

    Sounds like it just needs a little D&D rubbed on it. Clearly a collection of geeks is a “Party of geeks”.

    An encounter of geeks?

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  7. txjak

    It seems to me that a collection of geeks all applying themselves to the same effort could be called an orchestra of geeks.

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  8. Marty

    A clique of geeks (giques?)
    A melee of geeks?
    A tarball of geeks?
    I like party as well. Nice D&D reference, plus an alternate and possibly ironic meaning to people not familiar with D&D.

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  9. Abby Normal

    I rather like, a heteroclitus of geeks. Not only is it descriptive, but like geeks themselves, the common people would have no idea what it means.

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  10. Nick

    The question is definitely too narrow. Geek is a term that stretches across too many fields to make a single clever name (although you can say “a flock of birds” without naming what type of bird…). So you’ll have to define the type of geek group you’re naming.
    For example, computer science geeks can be lumped as “a flop of geeks” whereas math geeks can be lumped as “a set of geeks” (previously suggested but appropriate, I think). This way you gain some information with the particular term used.

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  11. Jon L

    Wow, a lot of good ones. The exact term probably depends on the type of ‘geek’, generally I break it up as nerd (academic), dork (scifi/fantasy), and geek (computers, a/v, music, etc.) So I’m going with:
    a set (or group) of nerds
    a convention (or party) of dorks
    an array (or band) of geeks

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  12. Michael

    I suppose “party” is acceptable… I could back that. I actually preferred the first, a “computation”, but that’s admittedly a little awkward.
    Bonus points to “pedantry”, though 😉

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  13. howard

    a school of geeks?
    like a school of fish, a school of geeks swim in their metaphorical water of knowledge.
    however, since most geeks are both polymath, and individualistic, a more proper usage probably would be
    “many schools of geek”.

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  14. Xyz

    I think right now we’re convening as “a thread of geeks”
    this can help us distinguish from the classical definition:
    “a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken.”(from dictionary.com)
    which would be accurately called “a sideshow of geeks”

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  15. Dave Briggs

    You should get a great many hits on a google of geeks.
    Posted by: chezjake | December 18, 2007 10:31 AM
    Ya,
    I like this one! Google has done so much for the whole world and especially for the furtherance of geekdom! The least they should get is the honor of being the collective name of us! LOL!
    Dave Briggs :~)

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  16. gg

    I’m not completely certain what to call the collection of geeks, but I vote for ‘accumulation point of geeks’ for the place that they congregate…

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  17. Doug Spoonwood

    A Newton of geeks.
    An Einstein of geeks.
    A Mendeleev of geeks.
    A Darwin of geeks.
    A gravity of geeks.
    A molecule of geeks.
    An evolution of geeks. Of course this implies
    A design of IDiots.

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  18. Barn Owl

    Love “an awkwardness of geeks” from #1-it’s akin to a shrewdness of apes, or an obstinacy of buffalo.
    A sweat of geeks.
    A rationale of geeks.
    A slouch of geeks.
    A byte of geeks.
    A swot of geeks.

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  19. Pseudonym

    The very fact that we’re doing classification is itself geeky. Therefore, to avoid Russell’s paradox, I propose “A class of geeks.”

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  20. Doug Spoonwood

    Mark,
    In a previous comment you said “If you want to see proofs about the soundness, completeness, and consistency of set theory+FOPL as an axiomatic reasoning system, I’d suggest the Quine textbook.”. I recently borrowed Quine’s, 1967 preface, edition of _Set Theory and Its Logic_. I see NOTHING about soundness in the index, nor anything around the entries marked ‘validity’ about soundness. The index for his _Mathematical Logic_, 1981 preface, also mentions NOTHING about soundness. In light of any better evidence, I *maintain* that crisp set theory simply does NOT give us a *sound* logical framework in which we can build theorems and proofs which tell us about numbers, just as informed mathematicians have rejected material axiomatics as all that plausible since the dissemination of non-Euclidean geometry.

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  21. Owlmirror

    An argument of geeks (argument having more than one meaning. heh.)
    An involution of geeks (not sure why I thought of that. Maybe introversion + complexity? Plus it’s a cool word.)
    A skeegfo of geeks (for palindromicity’s sake. OK, that one’s kinda lame.)
    A drift of geeks (thinking of how conversations change focus…)

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  22. Owlmirror

    A confluence of (linguistics/hydrology) geeks
    A conclave of (cryptography) geeks
    A convection of (meteorology/oceanography) geeks
    A convocation of (singing/acoustics) geeks
    A concretion of (geology) geeks
    A contiguity of (networked) geeks
    A confocus of (optics) geeks (confocality?)
    A contretemps of (clumsy) geeks
    A concupiscence of (sexology/horny) geeks
    I could continue, but I think I have committed enough conspicuous construction.

    Reply
  23. Andrew

    As mentioned before, there are far too many varieties of geek to touch on. “Convention” is a nice generic one, though.

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  24. Brian Hurt

    So I attended the “Trends in Functional Programming” this last year when it was here in New York City (this is on-topic, trust me). One of the “social events” they had was a bus tour of the city, and one of the stops was the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (IIRC). After wandering around the cathedral for a bit, a group of us gathered back outside by the buses and where chatting. I, humorously, asked what a group of functional programmers should be called- were we a closure of functional programmers, etc.
    “No,” replied one of the other participants, waving towards the cathedral behind us, “it’s a Church encoding of functional programmers.”
    Well, it was funny to us at the time.

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  25. Owlmirror

    Speaking of continuation and construction…
    A construction of architecture/art geeks.
    A constriction of high-pressure geeks.
    A congruence of math geeks.
    A congregation of atheist geeks.
    A consilience of science philosophers.
    A concatenation of string theory/comp. sci. geeks.
    A cons of Lisp programmers.
    A conniption of angry geeks.
    Stopping now.

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  26. Boosterz

    Slightly different topic here, but if at a later date someone decides to define a word for a group of perverts, I want to go ahead and toss “giggidy” out there.
    Random Quagmire quote-
    Quagmire: Hey there sweetie, how old are you?
    Connie: 16.
    Quagmire: 18? You’re first.
    Connie: Mom!
    Quagmire: I like where this is goin’! Giggidy, giggidy, gig-gi-dy!

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  27. trigger

    my vote is somewhere in: packet,frame,array,cache,computation
    Some of these in the list are retarded… think they were huffing glue before they posted?

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  28. Chris Glen

    on the bird thing:
    It is a Parliment of owls;
    but I think you’ll find its an ‘unkindness’ of ravens (one of the coolest collective nouns).
    and seeing Geeks don’t seek physical proximity for socialising, aggregates are usualy a byproduct of physical resource sharing for better information networking. So I propose:
    A node of geeks

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  29. Dave

    How about “a Boss of Geeks” because eventually the geeks we so fondly ridicule will eventually be the very people for whom we end up working.

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  30. bernarda

    A gospel of geeks.
    A keyboard of geeks.
    A pizza of geeks.
    A potato of geeks.
    There is a book of group nouns: “An Exaltation of Larks” by James Lipton.

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  31. Samantha Vimes

    An argument of geeks, of course.
    I find the ability of any group of geeks to find some common topic and then argue about some detail in it endearing, and pretty universal whether the geeks are talking game systems, computers, book vs movie version of anything, comic book heroes, or what energy source will light our tomorrows.

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  32. Daniel

    Is there a formal definition for geeks and nerds already?
    I think geek is associated with “computer geeks”, the sort of guys that build their own computers and upgrade them all the time to play the latest games. They can setup a lan-party with their eyes closed, and play some competitions for 72 hours with lots of caffeine. They love the most low-level stuff about computers and their favorite language is assembly.
    Nerd is more like the “science” guy, as in “computer science”. They love mathematics and other sciences. They like abstract reasoning (rather than low-level aspects) and their favorite language is haskell.
    So my definitions would be:
    – An Array of geeks
    – A Set of nerds
    I believe all readers of GM/BM are elements of a Set of Nerds 😉

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  33. ta

    “I don’t know of any good collective noun for a bunch of geeks.”
    Well, how about a bunch of geeks? Why make life complicated?

    Reply
  34. Lloyd

    I really like array, but feel a disarray would be more appropriate. Especially given that a synonym of one interpretation of disarray is dishabille.
    Although after typing this I immediately feel an embarrassment of geeks is a good contender.

    Reply

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