Tag Archives: Haiku

Neatnik – Friday’s Word of the Day

Today’s word of the day at dictionary.com is neatnik. Neatnik is a slang word that means a person  who  is extremely  neat about surroundings,  appearance, etc. It originated, according to dictionary.com, in opposition to the word beatnik,defined as a scruffy,  unshaven member of the “beat” generation (coined in 1958). The common element in both words is the suffix -nik. -Nik is a Yiddish term Slavic in origin. Its meaning is similar to the English suffix -er as in doer, thinker, dancer, etc. Its use denotes a person associated with a specified thing or quality.

Words with the suffix -nik gained popularity in the mid to late 1960’s when the Soviet Sputnik, the worlds first man-made satellite, came on the scene. By definition, a sputnik is a person (or thing) who travels with you on a path (put)* – in other words, a traveling companion. During this time there seemed to be no end to the new words (often derogatory in nature) that were coined using this suffix.

Of course there is our word of the day, NEATNIK, and its cousin, BEATNIK. And there were these iterations that you might recognize:

KAPUTNIK/FLOPNIK (1957), failed U.S. satellite attempt;
MUTTNIK (1957), Soviet satellite with dog aboard;
PEACENIK (1963), originally, opponent of the war in Vietnam;
PROTESTNIK (1965), protester against the war in Vietnam;
REFUSENIK (1975), Soviet Jews denied emigration, and also (1983), one who refused to obey orders as a form of protest;
NOSHNIK, one who likes to nosh (Yiddish for ‘eat snacks’);  STRAIGHTNIK, a heterosexual;  FILMNIK; JAZZNIK; FOLKNIK; BACHNIK; FREUDNIK; (definitions self explanatory)
BUSHNIK, admirerers of George Bush;
NOGOODNIK, a no-good person;
KIBBUTZNIK, a person who lives on a kibbutz;
BEARDNIK, a person with a beard;
SICKNIK, a sicko; a person who is perverse or mentally disturbed;
NUDNIK, a person who is very annoying; a persistent nag.

And of things political in Russia:
RASKOLNIK (1723), a dissenter from the national Church in Russia;
CHINOVNIK/TCHINOVNIK (1877), in Tsarist Russia, a government official, a civil servant, especially a minor functionary, a clerk;
NARODNIK (1885), ‘member of the (common) people,’ a supporter of a type of socialism originating amongst the Russian intelligentsia in the late 19th century and which looked on the peasants and intellectuals as revolutionary forces; a Russian populist. In extended use: a person who tries to politicize a community of rural or urban poor while sharing their living conditions; the name by which pre-Marxist Russian socialists are now generally known;
KOLKHOZNIK (1955), a member of a collective farm (a kolkhoz – 1921) in the U.S.S.R.

Here’s a a link to Wikipedia and an exhaustive list of all things -nik. Oh yes, there are more!

Just in the nick of time, 😉 here is a short three line verse (that is not a proper haiku, though it follows the 5-7-5 syllable rule) to put today’s word of the day to rest. What word would you coin using the suffix -nik? It would be a shame to let such a versatile suffix go to waste! 😊

when a neatnik is
the roommate of a beatnik
it’s an odd coupling


Hot Head – A Haiku

hot head, no off switch,
burning those who get too close…
the sun is not fun


For Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge, prompt words, sun & fun.

Tubthump – Friday’s Word of the Day

Friday’s word of the day at dictionary.com is tub-thump. It was hyphenated at dictionary.com, but I also found it presenting as “tubthump”. i found it to be an odd word, conjuring up all sorts of word pictures, in my mind at least. Tub…could be a bath tub, which was first to come to mind, or a barrel-like tub, or as it’s etymology suggested a nickname for a cooper (one who makes barrels or coffins), or most telling, a 17th century slang word for a preacher’s pulpit. Then there is Thumper, which of course made me think of that cute little bunny in the Disney classic, “Bambi”. You know. He’s the one who said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” All the while thumping his big foot drawing attention to himself, hence the moniker, Thumper.

When I put all this together the definition makes perfect sense.A Tubthumper is one who vociferously expresses an opinion in a loud, attention-drawing way. The word is often associated with zealots, fire and brimstone preachers, politicians and the like. I even read an account of tubthumpers, actors, who literally banged on tubs while wandering the streets to drum up business. Reminds me of how circuses used to come to town back in the day, before civic centers and arenas, when kids trotted along behind the circus parade as it ambled through town, settling finally, in an open field where sawdust was scattered and the big top erected! Ah, but I digress.

There were a few other tidbits associated with the word. Its origin, according to dictionary.com:

Tub-thump, a very rare word, is a back formation of tub-thumper “a vociferous supporter of a cause.” The verb tub-thump was coined by the British author Herman C. McNeile (1888–1937), whose pen name was “Sapper,” and who wrote the series of thrillers whose hero was Bulldog Drummond. The only other author to use the verb tub-thump was the American poet and editor Ezra Pound (1885-1972). Tub-thump entered English in 1920.

And there was a 1997 song called “Tubthumper” by the British band Chumbawamba. They disbanded in 2012, but you may recognize this catchy tune if you were around in the late 90’s. Give it a listen HERE.

At any rate, it’s a fun word that will give you a stand-alone score of 19 points on a scrabble board. Keep that tucked away in your scrabble word locker.

Here’s a Haiku, then. I can think of a few famous tubthumpers…can you?

doomsayers tubthump,
Repent! The end is coming!
the end never comes


Shy Sweet ~ A Haiku

shy and sweet
oh, she had them fooled
femme fatale


For Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt: shy & sweet.

Photo-digitally enhanced from BarbaraALane at pixabay.com.

Nectar Orbs

buttonbushes bloom
prickly, pale petal pins
hummingbirds to nip


For Haiku Horizons Prompt: Pin

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