Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Slang An obtuse, boring, or bothersome person; a pest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who is very annoying; a persistent nag.
  • n. A bore; a boring person.
  • n. A pest of a person; a jerk.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a pestiferous boring and dull person.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (Yiddish) someone who is a boring pest

Etymologies

Yiddish, nudne, boring (from nudyen, to bore; see nudge2) + -nik, -nik.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • As Wordnet notes, this word came into English via Yiddish, but it has Slavic roots (as the suffix -nik suggests). I suspect it comes from the Russian adjective нудный (nudnyj), which means "tiresome, annoying" and is related to the verb нудить (nudit'), which means "to force, oblige" (a nudnik being someone who forces himself on you). The Slavic root nud- actually refers to "need" (it's cognate with the English word, I suspect), and produces also the Russian word нужный (nužnyj), meaning "necessary", and the Slovene word nujen, also meaning "necessary", but with the added sense of "urgent".

    March 31, 2008