Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
Nerd sniping is a slang term that describes a particularly interesting problem that is presented to a nerd, often a physicist, tech geek or mathematician. The nerd stops all activity to devote attention to solving the problem, often at his or her own peril.
The term was coined in the xkcd comic strip. In the comic, a complex physics problem is shown to a physicist crossing the road. He becomes so wrapped up in the problem that he is run over by a truck. Although the term jokes about killing nerds, and this aspect of the comic is how the term gets its name, nerd sniping is commonly used to refer to a problem designed to stump, rather than kill, a person.