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

Compare Russian нудный (núdnyj, tedious), Ukrainian нудний (núdnýj, tedious), Polish nudny (boring), Slovak nudný (boring), Old Church Slavonic ноудити (nuditi) or нѫдити (nǫditi, to compel), Hebrew נוּדְנִיק(nag) and English -nik.



nudnik (plural nudniks)

  1. (US, colloquial) A person who is very boring or annoying; a bore, 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]