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From Yiddish נודניק(nudnik) < root of נודיען(nudyen, to bore) + ־ניק(-nik, noun-forming suffix) (English -nik). Ultimately from Proto-Slavic *nuda < Proto-Indo-European *newti- (need) < *new- (death, to be exhausted).

Compare Russian ну́дный (núdnyj, tedious), Ukrainian ну́дний (núdnyj, tedious), Polish nudny (boring), Slovak nudný (boring), Old Church Slavonic ноудити (nuditi) or нѫдити (nǫditi, to compel), Hebrew נוּדְנִיק(nag).



nudnik (plural nudniks)

  1. (US, colloquial) A person who is very annoying; a pest, a nag, a jerk. (Also used attributively.) [from 20th c.]
    • 1992, Richard Preston quoting Samuel Eilenberg, The New Yorker, 2 March, "The Mountains of Pi":
      He interrupts people, and he is not interested in anything except what concerns him and his brother. He is a nudnick!
    • 1962, Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle, in Four Novels of the 1960s, Library of America 2007, p. 15:
      Juliana greeted strangers with a portentous, nudnik, Mona Lisa smile that hung them up between responses, whether to say hello or not.

Related terms[edit]