I came across a useful Russian word today when searching for Chechen phrasebooks – разговорник (razgavornik) [rəzɡɐˈvornʲɪk] – I guessed it meant phrasebook from the context, and also because разговаривать (razgavarivat’) means to talk (to).

It is a combination of разговор (razgavór – conversation, talk) and the suffix ник (nik), which usually denotes a profession, performer, place, object, tool or a feature.

Here are some related words and examples of use:

– го́вор = the sound of talking, voices or speech; murmur; dialect; pronunciation, accent
– говори́ть = to talk, to speak, to say, to tell
– это другой разговор! = that’s another matter!
– без разговоров = without a word
– Мне даже не нужно об этом разговаривать = I don’t even need to talk about it
– Но мне не хочется сегодня разговаривать = Sorry, but I don’t feel much like talking tonight

There are many more Russian words which come from the same root: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/говорить

Other words that use the suffix ник include:

– дневник (dnevnik) = diary
– спутник‎ (sputnik) = fellow traveler; satellite
– ученик‎ (učenik) = schoolboy
– учебник‎ (učebnik) = textbook

This suffix is also used on some English words, such as beatnik, peacenik, refusenik, and on loanwords from Yiddish like nudnik (a bore, pest, annoying person), nogoodnik (a person who is no good), which probably comes from the Russian негодник ‎(negodnik – worthless person, reprobate, ne’er-do-well). The last too are new to me. Have you heard them before?

Sources: Reverso, Wiktionary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *