The suffix -nik came to English through Yiddish (and ultimately from Polish and Ukrainian). It means "one connected with or characterized by being." You might be familiar with "beatnik," "computernik," or "neatnik," but what about "no-goodnik" or "allrightnik"? The suffix -nik is frequently used in English to create nonce words that are often jocular or slightly derogatory. Some theorize that the popularity of the suffix was enhanced by Russian "Sputnik," as well as Al Capp's frequent use of "-nik" words in his "L'il Abner" cartoons. The "nud-" of the Yiddish borrowing "nudnik" ultimately comes from the Polish word nuda, meaning "boredom."
Examples of nudnik in a Sentence
dreads family gatherings, as that nudnik of a brother-in-law is always sure to be there
nobody wants to hang around with that nudnik—all he wants to do is talk shop
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nudnik.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.