Appendix:Suffix -nik

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
Crystal Clear filesystem trashcan full.png This appendix has been nominated for deletion(+)
Please see that page for discussion and justifications. Feel free to edit this appendix as normal, though do not remove the {{rfd}} until the debate has finished.

This is a glossary of terms with the suffix -nik. The English suffix -nik is of Slavic origin. It approximately corresponds to the suffix "-er" and nearly always denotes an agent noun (that is, it describes a person related to the thing, state, habit, or action described by the word to which the suffix is attached).[1] In the cases where a native English language coinage is possible, the "-nik"-word often bears an ironic connotation.

The suffix existed in English in dormant state for a long time, in borrowed terms. An example is raskolnik, recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary to be known since 1723.[1] There have been two main waves of the introduction of this suffix into English language. The first one is Yinglish words contributed by Yiddish speakers from Eastern Europe. The second surge was observed after the launch of the Sputnik by the Soviet Union in 1957.

In his book The American Language, H.L. Mencken credits the postwar mania for adding "-nik" to the ends of adjectives to create nouns as beginning, not with beatnik or Sputnik, but earlier - in the American comic strip Li'l Abner by Al Capp.



Words of significant context or usage:


Casual neologisms:

  • Alrightnik: one who has been successful (who has done all right); nouveau riche
  • Computernik: a computer geek
  • Ipodnik: a person utterly devoted to iPods
  • Muttnik
  • Neatnik: a neat-freak
  • No-goodnik: a lazy or incompetent person
  • Peacenik: a pacifist; a hippie

Jewish adaptation[edit]

Words originally used by Jews of Europe, America, and Israel, often referring to concepts related to their experiences or things happening in Israel:

  • Chabadnik or Habadnik: follower of Chabad
  • Kadimanik: member of United Synagogue Youth's Kadima program
  • Ka-tzetnik: a Nazi concentration camp prisoner or survivor, derived from abbreviation KZ, pronounced Ka-tzet
  • Kibbutznik: member of a Kibbutz
  • Lamedvavnik
  • Likudnik: supporter of Israeli political party Likud
  • Moshavnik: member of a Moshav
  • Shinuinik: supporter of Israeli political party Shinui
  • Mapainik: supporter of the historical Israeli labour party.
  • Netzernik: Member of the Netzer Olami youth movement
  • Nudnik: a nagging, boring or awkward person
  • Reusenik: one who reuses and reuses and reuses again to rid the world of plastic. Are you a Reusenik?

Slavic languages[edit]

Native Slavic words that refer to inherently Slavic concepts:

  • Chetnik
  • Druzhinnik
  • Kolkhoznik
  • Kukuruznik
  • Narodnik
  • Namestnik
  • Oprichnik
  • Patatnik
  • Peredvizhnik
  • Polkovnik/Polkovnyk
  • Posadnik
  • Raskolnik
  • Rushnik
  • Sotnik
  • Sovkhoznik
  • Subbotnik
  • Syrnik (Sirnik)
  • Udarnik
  • Uryadnik
  • Varenik
  • Vodnik
  • Voskresnik
  • Varenik
  • Zapadnik
  • Zolotnik, an obsolete Russian measure of weight


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kabakchi, V. V.; Doyle, Charles Clay (Autumn 1990), “Of Sputniks, Beatniks, and Nogoodniks”, in American Speech, volume 65, issue 3, DOI:10.2307/455919, JSTOR 455919, pages 275-278
  2. ^ Artnik

External links[edit]