"Freak!" is not really what you want to hear when you're trying to blend into a crowd. But for someone interested in being unique, it can be a compliment. Starting in the early 1800s, freak shows were a popular form of entertainment that literally involved putting weirdness on display. People who had extreme medical conditions - obesity, dwarfism, hairiness - could work in freak shows while people paid money to gawk at them. In the 1970s, the dance musich it "Le Freak" helped launch the disco craze, but also poked fun at the over-the-top devotion of nightclubbers. Being called a "music freak" or a "computer freak" has a certain charm because the idea is that while you may be abnormally passionate about one special thing, you're probably very good at it. Like "Jesus freak," however, it also might contain a subtle putdown about being so fervent about something.
"Oh my god, what a freak!"
"Hmm...let's see...I'm a freak...that's very interesting. But umm...I'm not the one prancing around in my high heels and miniskirt, now am I? As far as I'm concerned, the only freak here is you."
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