According to the Collins Dictionary, quirky is defined as….

quirky (ˈkwɜːkɪ)

peculiarly individual or unconventional


= odd, unusual, eccentric, idiosyncratic, curious, peculiar, unpredictable, rum, singular, fanciful, whimsical,capricious, offbeat, out there


I was talking to a friend at a party recently and in the course of the conversation she referred to me as quirky. She meant it in a nice way and I certainly didn’t take offense, I was probably pleased in a way, but also surprised.

Quirky, me? I thought I was the boring sensible one!


Now if we had been talking about my husband I would definitely have said quirky was spot on.

I have even used the word … affectionately… when talking about my daughter…. She is highly creative, imaginative, musical, individual and, well quirky.

But me? I thought I was the boring predictable one!


So I decided to ask around, starting first with my quirky husband!

His response was to remind me how often he has come home from work to find me (sometimes literally) knee deep in some experiment or other, usually with the kids involved too but all thoughts of time… or a dinner, forgotten.

He reminded me of opening the front door to find laughing children darting and running as I bombarded them with giant smoke rings; that there have been jars of “muck” on the windowsill for weeks and that I did in fact serve him green eggs and ham for dinner recently!

Okay, I concede, these things  might have happened, but does that make me quirky?


Next I asked my children, of course they needed a definition first!  Once the had the gist of things they all agreed that Dad is definitely quirky (so its not just me that thinks it!) but after a little discussion and consideration they did fell that YES I also fell into the quirky category.

They all found it hard to say exactly why but the word “science” popped up a lot in the conversation.


Another friend of mine called round for a cuppa. She barely had the first sip of tea when I asked her… “So, do you think I am quirky?” Without lifting her head from the cup her reply was instant… “Yes, of course you are?”

Wow, I had no idea – this was becoming quite a revelation!

When I asked her why she said it was because of the way I thought, how I looked at life from unusual angles and my creativity, often  through science.


Finally I asked on line… I wondered how my on line friends would perceive me, having never actually met me “in the flesh”.

The answer? Yes, you guessed it…. “Quirky, quirky, quirky!”

I am reassured though, as the lovely Lucy (over at Learner Mama) pointed out… “Quirky and geeky are all in right now”

Looks like I am accidentally on trend for a change… now that is a bigger surprise than the Quirky bit!


I must concede, yes I am a little quirky, and I think I kind of like that! It seems that science has a large part to play in all this but the question then remains…

… am I quirky because I am a scientist or am I a scientist because I am quirky?



So, how quirky are you? Go on, be honest!


Science blogger and writer; Owner of Dr. How's Science Wows; Mother of three junior scientists who have taught me that to be a great scientist you need to look at life through the eyes of a child!

18 thoughts on “Quirky

  • May 28, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Great post 🙂 my Aunty pointed out to me last year that I’m a geek, something I never really thought of before, but like you I asked around and realised she was right and now I totally own it haha

    • May 28, 2014 at 11:27 am

      That is exactly like me Sara! I never realised until someone said it to me and when I asked everyone else said “of course”… but it seems we are among great company 😉

  • May 28, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Sounds like it’s a lot of fun in your house Naomi and it’s definitely good to be Quirky. If being disorganised is one of the criteria I think you could count me in there.

    • May 28, 2014 at 11:26 am

      I don’t know if it is one of the criteria Una but it definitely fits with me 😉 We are building quite a Quirky club here!

  • May 28, 2014 at 10:37 am

    I’m not sure I’m quirky but I definitely like being disorganised. In fact, I see very organised people as a tad anal. I wish I was more organised when I spend half an hour looking for an important piece of paper but have to admit that one of the things I like now about being an author is that I can kinda legitimately be a mad type of writer (similar to mad scientists in fact) where skirtingboards and mantelpieces are left dusty and as long as everyone is fed and has relatively clean clothes, there is harmony. It’s okay to forget important things when one is a writer and is thinking out stuff for the next book 🙂
    Just as well we have a wonderful volunteer organising Amanda and I for the blog awards this year – putting everything in our diaries and sending us reminders 🙂

    • May 28, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Oh I love that idea Lorna, too busy planning the next book/post etc so housework can be excused!!! I imagine you have to be a very organised person to achieve everything you do! After reading your lovely book I think you definitely belong in the Quirky club 😉

    • May 28, 2014 at 10:15 am

      I’d say definitely, looking at your lovely blog, but the best kind of Quirky there is 🙂 We will have to start a quirky club 😉

  • May 27, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    No I am not quirky, yet I often think you and I are quite similar, ( the bit of you I know online) and yes I do think you are quirky.
    I am normally referred to as “horizontal”, “chilled”, and scatty. I don’t really see myself as these things but I do see others as hyper and overly organised! 🙂

    • May 27, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      That is really interesting Tric as I would see similarities between us too 🙂 … and I would say you are quirky (do you want a badge too? 😉 … I don’t think I am hyper and overly organised but unfortunately a bit more highly strung than “horizontal” and “chilled” . I am finding all these comments very interesting! (as well as how people perceive me on line!)

  • May 27, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Now your question at the end is something that fascinates me – I often wonder if people end up in particular professions because of their personalities or if it’s the other way around. I guess it’s both. Science is quirky and cool so you’re in a good place!

    • May 27, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Well put Office Mum, I find it a very interesting concept as well.

  • May 27, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Great post. I also would describe you as quirky Naomi, also without meeting you in person yet. And yes it is a good thing. 🙂

    • May 27, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks for the compliment Laura 😉 it’s funny how quirky translates across the internet

    • May 27, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      I agree Olivia, and now I’ve got the badge to prove it 😉

Comments are closed.