Dr. Seuss Invented the Word "Nerd"

According to the blog Your Mind Blown, the first documented use of the word 'nerd' was in the 1950 Dr. Seuss book If I Ran the Zoo. Here is a synopsis:

[...] a boy named Gerald McGrew made a large number of delightfully extravagant claims as to what he would do, if he were in charge at the zoo. Among these was that he would bring a creature known as a Nerd from the land of Ka-Troo.


Link via Glenn Reynolds | Amazon Link | Image: Random House

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I wonder how much truth there is to this. Seuss's definition isn't exactly the same as our traditional definition. My grandfather was around well before 1950 and he says that they were using the word "nerd" in the same manner we do today when he was in high school back in the '40's. Only he said the definition was more along the lines of someone who had trouble socializing. Today, it seems that nerds are getting cooler and cooler. And the word nerd can mean lots of things. It was once an insult, now it's becoming kind of a compliment.
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