Alternative Spellings

chinyuk, chnyuk, khnyuk, chnyok, khinyuk, khenyok, chenyok


  • an unkempt or slovenly person
  • a mean or bigoted person
  • a sanctimonious, holier-than-thou religious person

Example Sentences

  • "He's such a khnyok--I can't stand him."
  • "Yes, if I decided to shuckle too hard while davening, be makpid on washing negelvasser in the morning, or say oi instead of oh, I was chided with ”don’t be such a chnyok!” (

Languages of Origin



כניאָק khnyok '(religious) zealot, clumsy oaf, wimp' (plural כניאָקעס khnyokes)

Who Uses This

Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
Older: Jews who are middle-aged and older
Ashkenazim: Jews with Ashkenazi heritage


North America


Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).


Pronounced in one syllable; generally used by Orthodox Jews to describe those farther to the right on the Modern Orthodox to Black Hat continuum (when used in its first sense). From the Slavic component of Yiddish. In Jewish English the plural is khnyokes or khnyoks. See discussion at

Edit     See something you disagree with? Feel free to edit it. All changes will be moderated.