Alternative Spellings



  • bad person, scoundrel (sometimes humorous or affectionate)

Example Sentences

  • "Ah, he's a regular no-goodnik."
  • "He essays the role of a middle-class Milquetoast and failed rapper who pilfers the identity of a neighborhood thug when said no-goodnik ends up behind bars." (SPIN magazine, Feb 1993)

Languages of Origin

Yiddish, English


Eng "no good" + Yiddish ניק- suffix, signifying a person

Who Uses This

Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older
Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)
Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage


North America


The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).

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