There are two popular stories about the origin of the word, "nerd."
The first is that it come from Dr. Suess's "If I Ran the Zoo," in which appears a creature called a "nerd." This book was published in 1950.
"I'll sail to Ka-Troo And Bring Back an It-Kutch, a Preep and a Proo, A Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker, too!"
The second is that it is a variation on the name of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's (Candace's father) dummy, "Mortimer Snerd."
Either theory could be correct. There is no record of the term prior to its 1950 appearance in the Dr. Suess book. The earliest citing of the current usage is from 1951.
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