While douchebags and assholes might be irritating and difficult to dissuade, creeps give you the heebie-jeebies. They possess a particular lack of social awareness that manifests as the inability to interpret social cues, especially from women. They may stand too close, refuse to leave, or make inappropriate sexual comments with a scary, manic desperation. An asshole toes the comfort line out of the misguided notion that you secretly enjoy the attention, but a creep won’t even know he crossed it until it’s 20 minutes behind him and you’ve made a bee-line to “Uh … my friend needs me … yeah … so I’m going to go … over there.” Creeps treat meeting women like buying foreclosed property, a process one can learn through pickup books, seminars, and how-to tips. When a woman doesn’t respond to their advances (see “negging”), creeps assume she must be a stuck-up dyke-y feminist bitch.
Etymology & History: In the 1600s, “creeper” described a particularly despicable thief who stole from brothels. Over time, the insult was shortened, and by 1930s, college students used it to describe someone who literally makes your skin crawl. The Committee for the Re-Election of the President got the unfortunate “CREEP” moniker during the Watergate scandal of 1972, solidifying the name’s association with all things skeezy.
Creeps in the News: Brett Favre, Charlie Sheen, Mystery (the pickup artist), Terry Richardson (fashion photographer), Dov Charney (CEO of American Apparel)
Creeps on Screen: Johnny Drama (Entourage), Jabba the Hutt (Star Wars), Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (Jersey Shore), Chazz Reinhold (Wedding Crashers)
Famous Creep Quotes:
“Get ready to party, get out there, get filthy, creepy, and weird.” (Ronnie of Jersey Shore)
“But I’m a creep / I’m a weirdo / What the hell am I doing here? / I don’t belong here.” (Radiohead, “Creep”)