Etymology
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-nik 

as in beatnik, etc., suffix used in word formation from c. 1945, from Yiddish -nik (as in nudnik "a bore"), from Russian -nik, common personal suffix meaning "person or thing associated with or involved in" (compare nudnik; kolkhoznik "member of a kolkhoz"). Rocketed to popularity with sputnik (q.v.), hence its brief vogue in English word-formation, as in robotnik "person behaving with mindless obedience" (1960).

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-ate (1)

word-forming element used in forming nouns from Latin words ending in -atus, -atum (such as estate, primate, senate). Those that came to English via French often arrived with -at, but an -e was added after c. 1400 to indicate the long vowel. The suffix also can mark adjectives formed from Latin past participles in -atus, -ata (such as desolate, moderate, separate); again, they often were adopted in Middle English as -at, with an -e appended after c. 1400.

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-phile 
also -phil, word-forming element meaning "one that loves, likes, or is attracted to," via French -phile and Medieval Latin -philus in this sense, from Greek -philos, common suffix in personal names (such as Theophilos), from philos "loving, friendly, dear; related, own," related to philein "to love," which is of unknown origin. According to Beekes, the original meaning was "own, accompanying" rather than "beloved."
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-a (1)
word-forming element which in English is characteristic of fem. nouns and adjectives of Latin or Greek origin (such as idea, coma, mania, basilica, arena, formula, nebula). From Latin -a (plural -ae) and Greek -a, (plural -ai, Latinized as -ae). The Latin suffix also became Italian -a (plural -e), Spanish -a (plural -as). It is represented in Old English by -u, -e, but even then the suffix was fading and by the time of modern English was totally lost or swallowed into silent final -e-.

It also appears in Romanic words from Latin that have been borrowed into English, such as opera, plaza, armada. It figures in scientific names coined in Modern Latin (amoeba, soda, magnolia, etc.) and is common in geographical names formed according to Latin or Greek models (Asia, Africa, America, Arabia, Florida, etc.)

In English it marks sex only in personal names (Julia, Maria, Alberta) and in a few words from Italian or Spanish where a corresponding male form also is in use (donna, senora).
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