n. Term for Soviet Jews who were not allowed to openly practice Judaism or emigrate from Soviet Union.
"They armed hundreds of tourists with letters, books and jeans and sent them to the Soviet Union to meet with refuseniks and gather information." (source)
Languages of Origin
Partial translation of Russian отказник (otkaznik), from otkazat "to refuse," with the English word "refuse." (source) The Russian suffix -nik was maintained in Jewish circles because of its use in Yiddish and Yiddish-influenced English words, like "nudnik" and "allrightnik."
- Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
- North America
- Great Britain
- South Africa
- Australia / New Zealand
- The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
Who Uses This
Coined in the 1970s.
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