Origin of nik
- < Yiddish or Russ: equiv. to -er
From Webster's New World College Dictionary, 5th Edition
- Yiddish Russian (Yiddish) (from Russian) of Slavic origin
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From the Slavic suffix (Russian: -ник (-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).