Did a little more research and was amazed at the history of "geek"
... except that "geek" dates back only to the 19th century, although an earlier form, "geck," meaning "fool," dates back to the 16th century. A "geek" in carnival slang was often a formerly talented performer (such as an acrobat or high-wire artist) who had fallen prey to alcohol or drugs. Such sad cases usually drifted downward through the pecking order of the carnival until they hit bottom, where the only job left open to them was that of "geek." The term was popularized by William Gresham's 1946 novel about carnival life, "Nightmare Alley" (later made into a film starring Tyrone Power). Originally, to be a "geek" was to have fallen so low as to be willing to do anything for a living, no matter how disgusting the task. Only in the last few years has it been used as a synonym for "nerd."