Origin of -nik
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).
Yiddish Russian (Yiddish) (from Russian) of Slavic origin
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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