‘Nerd’ and ‘geek’ insults should be classed as hate crimes in UK, says academic

Dr Sonja Falck has spent eight years researching discrimination against individuals with a high IQ

A British psychologist has uncovered yet another new class of victims: the very intelligent, and is seeking legislation to control how other people are allowed to talk about them.

Calling people “nerds” and “geeks” should be made a hate crime, says professor and psychotherapist Dr. Sonja Falck, who studies the impact of bullying on high-IQ children. 

Falck said those words should be categorized along with homosexual, racial, and religious slurs under UK hate speech laws.

Falck has spent years researching bias against people with very high IQ, and interviewing high-ability adults about their lives. One theme she uncovered was that of “belonging” or “not belonging.”

“That was a really big one,” she told the Telegraph. “That’s where being taunted with names like ‘nerd’ or ‘egghead’ or ‘brainiac’ comes in because the person is being set apart as being different to others and feeling like they’re a misfit and they don’t belong.”

Falck said all her subjects admitted to feeling like this at some point in their lives, and the remedy she wants to see is government-force societal change.

She said: “The N-word was common parlance in the UK until at least the 1960s … Other insulting slurs about age, disability, religion and gender identity remained in widespread use until relatively recently.

“Society at the time turned a blind eye to their impact by passing them off as harmless banter.

“It is only with the benefit of hindsight and academic research that we realise how wrong we were.

“The same can be said about anti-IQ words like ‘nerd’, ‘brainbox’, ‘geek’, ‘egg-head’, ‘smart-arse’, ‘dweeb’ and ‘smarty-pants’,” she added.

Falck went on to warn that being called names, especially as a child, can cause psychological damage that may last a lifetime and that making these slurs illegal would help to stamp out the victimization of more than one million Britons with a “gifted” IQ score of 132 or over.


  1. How about going back to not criminalizing any speech?
    That way, when called a “geek” the nerdy kid can legitimately call the other a ret@rd, or the dvmbaz$ with impunity.
    There will always be new slurs.
    OK Boomer?


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