I haven't heard of this one before - that's funny!
Yep, nerd, geek.....both acceptable terms. = )
Ah, but "boffins" actually have skills and are assumed to be smart. I'm a Yank, but I read The Economist, and they are constantly referring to "boffins" in at least a somewhat-favorable light--that is, overspecialized, and probably lacking in social skills and maturity, but still smart and and expert in certain domains. I don't think we have a word that quite means the same thing.A "nerd" or a "geek" usually denotes someone immature and socially undesirable--but nerds and geeks may or may not be smart.
Actually have to agree with David Isaak - although Nerd and geek are probably the closet here, there's no word that includes the cringe-worthiness of a true boffin is there? Boffins are almost too brainy for their own good somehow.
That's why I asked as I didn't think you had something exactly the same.You are right a nerd is not as knowledgeable as a boffin, so it doesn't quite fit. Geek would probably be closer to Boffin. But in the UK Boffin whilst acknowledged as an expert is seen as a bit geeky too.
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