Origin of -nikfrom Yiddish or Russ: equivalent to -er
Origin of -nikYiddishRussian (Yiddish) ( from Russian) of Slavic origin
From the Slavic suffix (Russian: -Ð½Ð¸Ðº (-nik)). This suffix experienced a surge in English coinages for nicknames and diminutives after the 1957 Soviet launch of the first Sputnik satellite. English usage is heavily influenced by Yiddish usage of -nik and similar borrowed words (nogoodnik, nudnik, kibbutznik).