influence of russian on AE

A. Maberry maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Fri Feb 11 03:24:47 UTC 2000

The meaning of -nik is pretty clear. But, Weinreich, the only Yiddish
dictionary I have handy at the moment lists also: nudote "boredom" (I have
never heard this word used or seen it in print) nudien "to bore" and
nudien zikh "to be bored" nudnik -nitse "bore, pest" nudne "dull, tedious,
I don't know any Russian, so this is just wild speculation but nud in
Aramaic means "to move about, or be unsteady" The citations in Jastrow
lead me to think it is something in continuous motion. The root nud in
Hebrew means (basically) "to be disturbed or agitated". I could see how a
person constantly disturbed or agitated could make a pest of themselves in
a hurry. I'm sure the first person who is fluent in Russian or has access
to a good Russian dictionary will put this to rest.

maberry at

On Thu, 10 Feb 2000, Stephanie Hysmith wrote:

> I think this is based on Yiddish and maybe blended with the Russian suffix
> -nik for effect. Perhaps it came out around the same era as 'beatnik,' too.
> I doubt it has to do with nudism. Rather I would guess it refers to a
> 'nudge.' /nUj/ This is someone who's pesters you, keeps after you for
> details or whatever. If someone has a Yiddish dictionary handy, please
> correct me.
> Isn't there also a word "nudnik" which I would understand as nude person or
> >someone involved with nudism?  If so, this would probably be Yiddish rather
> >than Russian. I don't see anything about the suffix "-nik" in DARE.  It
> >became popular with "Sputnik."

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