In International English geek means 'a person who is socially inept or boringly conventional or studious'. The sense comes from the United States, where it originally referred to an assistant at a sideshow whose purpose was to appear an object of disgust or derision. The American word appears to be a variant ofgeck, a Scots word (from Dutch) meaning 'a gesture of derision; an expression of scorn or contempt'. In recent years the word has been increasingly applied to a person who is obsessed with computers and computer technology, and in the United States, especially in the compound alpha geek (the person you turn to for help when having problems with your computer), it is losing some of its negative connotations. In Australia, however, there is another meaning of the word geek. It means 'a look', and usually appears in the phrase to have (or take) a geek at. It is also used as a verb. This Australian sense derives from British dialect geek meaning 'to peep, peer; spy; to look at intently'. The Australian National Dictionary includes the following citations: 1954 T.A.G. Hungerford, Sowers of Wind: There's a circus down by the dance-hall, a Jap show.. What about having a geek at that? 1968 D. O'Grady, Bottle of Sandwiches: We had a geek at the stuff. 1981 P. Barton, Bastards I have Known: There was a lot of grass I wanted to have a geek at on the other side of a lot of hills - not only in Australia, but around the world.

Australian idioms. 2014.

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