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noodnik is attested since 1925, nudnik since 1929. 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), Old Church Slavonic ноудити (nuditi) or нѫдити (nǫditi, to compell), Hebrew נוּדְנִיק (nag) and English -nik.


nudnik (plural nudniks)

  1. A person who is very annoying; a persistent nag.
  2. A bore; a boring person.
  3. A pest of a person; a jerk.
    • 1992 March 2, Richard Preston quoting Samuel Eilenberg, The New Yorker, "The Mountains of Pi":
      In the academic world, we have to be careful who our colleagues are. David is a pain in the neck. He interrupts people, and he is not interested in anything except what concerns him and his brother. He is a nudnick!

Related terms[edit]