The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):
[Russian, literally ?teapot?] Almost synonymous with muggle. Implies both
ignorance and a certain amount of willingness to learn, but does not
necessarily imply as little experience or short exposure time as newbie
and is not as derogatory as luser. Both a novice user and someone using a
system for a long time without any understanding of the internals can be
referred to as chainiks. Very widespread term in Russian hackish, often
used in an English context by Russian-speaking hackers esp. in Israel (e.g.
?Our new colleague is a complete chainik?). FidoNet discussion groups often
had a ?chainik? subsection for newbies and, well, old chainiks (eg.
su.asm.chainik, ru.linux.chainik, ru.html.chainik). Public projects often
have a chainik mailing list to keep the chainiks off the developers' and
experienced users' discussions. Today, the word is slowly slipping into
mainstream Russian due to the Russian translation of the popular
yellow-black covered ?foobar for dummies? series, which (correctly) uses ?
chainik? for ?dummy?, but its frequent (though not excessive) use is still