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This is a status of familiarity in a subject achieved rapidly. Imagine a small nerd, placed in one's pocket, ready to speak about a subject on your behalf. It is small, but serviceable, nerdiness and specialty in an intellectual subject, however narrow.

The word "pocket" is used in the same sense as that of "pocket calendar," "pocket radio," or "pocket pizza;" small, but serviceable.

This is similar to becoming a "jack," as in "jack of all trades," in a particular intellectual discipline, instead of a skill. One can extend the analogy of "jack of all trades" to "nerd of all interests."

I was talking about something with a friend of mine, and he began to explain one of its finer points.

I asked him to stop, before he continued, saying that I had read all about it, and provided further information that, perhaps, he might not know, as proof that I required no explanation.

Face was not, however, so easily to be lost, and I was declared a pocket nerd.

This is, apparently, the condition of one who, once any idle curiosity has been stimulated, will, by dint of hard study (see grip) quickly reach a level of depth of knowledge in a subject to rival, conversationally, at least, that of those who have kindled a casual interest in it for years.

"And to think, two weeks ago, you knew nothing about it!"

The term is often used by those who might otherwise apply the term "intellectual" to those who love knowledge for its own sake.
"Whoa, I didn't realize Ryan was so interested in socialism."
"You mistake him. He's just a pocket nerd."

It took only twenty Wikipedia articles for Oreol to become a pocket nerd.

"Ah, yes, I have achieved pocket nerd status in many disciplines, but few have held my interest for more than a month."

"I was impressed by their conversation, but I cannot tell whether they had an abiding interest in quantum physics, or had just decided to become pocket nerds for the duration of the class."
by Sean Bas. August 27, 2013
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