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Beatnik is a term for an anti-materialistic culture of people in the late 1950s, analogous to hippies a decade later. The term was coined by Herb Caen on April 2, 1958 in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. He modified an earlier, more positive term Beat Generation and added the -nik suffix from Sputnik, which had launched in the prior six months.

Beatniks were associated with poetry and jazz. Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road was viewed by many as the Beat Generation's manifesto.