Coined by San Francisco columnist Herb Caen in 1958. From beat (generation) + cutesy or ironic use of the Russian suffix -ник (-nik). This suffix experienced a surge in English coinages for nicknames and diminutives after the 1957 Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite. Compare jazznik.
beatnik (plural beatniks)
- A person who dresses in a manner that is not socially acceptable and whose manner of dress reflects a rejection of conventional norms of thought and behavior; nonconformist in dress and behavior
- A person associated with the Beat Generation of the 1950s and 1960s or its style.
- For usage examples of this term, see the citations page.
Declension of beatnik (type risti)
Partitive plural is commonly spelled with double-k as beatnikkejä, which may be considered erroneous.