Go to 'thermo-' entry Go to 'dino-' entry Go to 'chondro-' entry Go to 'aero-' entry Go to '-logy' entry Go to 'thaumato-' entry Go to 'nano-' entry Go to '-sophy' entry Go to 'bucco-' entry Go to '-ism' entry Go to '-lysis' entry Go to 'galacto-' entry Go to '-anthropy' entry Go to 'pneumo-' entry Go to '-ploitation' entry Go to '-lithic' entry Go to '-sepalous' entry Go to 'onco-' entry Go to '-parous' entry Go to 'dermato-' entry Go to 'multi-' entry Go to 'dodeca-' entry Go to '-zoon' entry Go to 'vermi-' entry Go to 'crystallo-' entry Go to 'biblio-' entry Go to 'eco-' entry Go to 'juxta-' entry Go to 'facio-' entry
Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

-nik

A person associated with a specified thing or quality.

[A Yiddish and Russian suffix.]

The ending had been known in English before the mid 1950s, notably in the Yiddish nudnik for a person who pesters or bores, kibbutznik for a member of a kibbutz, and in proper names such as Chetnik, a member of a guerrilla force in the Balkans. However, it was sputnik (literally ‘fellow-traveller' in Russian), a satellite launched in October 1957, that introduced the ending to a wider English audience. Examples include beatnik, a member of the Beat generation; refusenik, a Jew in the former Soviet Union who was refused permission to emigrate to Israel; neatnik, a person neat in his habits, the opposite of a beatnik; and peacenik, a member of a pacifist movement. The form has since lost much of its novel force; the rare new examples tend to follow neatnik and peacenik in being facetious or mildly derogatory: nogoodnik, allrightnik.

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