The term "beatnik" was intended as a derogatory remark, coined by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen in his April 2, 1958 column. The satellite Sputnik had been launched by the Soviet Union several months before, and the –nik suffix was in vogue. The Beat writers themselves never used this word, preferring "Beat" and "Beat Generation", terms they began using in 1944 and 1948, respectively.