Green’s Dictionary of Slang

jerk n.1

1. an act of sexual intercourse.

[UK]N. Ward T- B-’s Last Letter in Miscellaneous Writings III 5: The Business of Cuckold-making is always done with a Jirk.
[UK] ‘The Disappointed Tailor ’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) IV 229: So they both went to work, / Now a Kiss, then a Jirk.

2. (orig. US, also jerkface) a general term of abuse; a fool, an idiot, a failure.

[US]H. Roth Call It Sleep (1977) 411: Jerk I shidda said. Cha!
[US]H.M. Anderson Strip Tease 37: The audience — anyone who comes to burlesque show — is a ‘jerk’. [...] It’s the jerk who keeps on applauding for the stripper to come back [...] It’s the jerk who snaps candid-camera shots from the front row.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 28 Jan. [synd. col.] Stage mothers are insisting that Nan Walker [...] quit calling their darlings ‘jerkface’.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 301: Listen to this son-of-a-bitch [...] the jerk’s a nigger-lover.
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Men, Big World 110: A jerk who’s so dumb he’d get a man sent up for a year for double parking.
[US]E. De Roo Big Rumble 67: He walked out immediately after flooring the jerk.
[UK]T. Taylor Baron’s Court All Change (2011) 39: [A] middle-aged jerk who lives with ‘Mummy’ in a toffee-nosed block of flats.
[US]‘Red’ Rudensky Gonif 27: For God’s sake, jerk, you’re still young.
[US]G.V. Higgins Patriot Game (1985) 150: Grammy had to take Grampy by the sleeve and shush the old jerk.
[UK]M. Dibdin Dark Spectre (1996) 5: Three paces behind came Ronnie Ho, looking polite and concerned as always. What a jerk!
[Aus]L. Redhead Rubdown [ebook] I bet you’ve rooted jerks for nothing.
[UK]L. Theroux Call of the Weird (2006) 35: They’re all a bunch of goofball jerks.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 81: You knew those jerks?
[UK]K. Sampson Killing Pool 109: The only jerk who knew nothing whatsoever was myself.
[US]N. Walker Cherry 30: ‘You’re being a fucking jerk’.

3. (US) a male masturbator [jerk off v.].

[US]‘Justinian’ Americana Sexualis 26: Jerk [...] Same as Jagoff.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak 80: Jerk [...] a masturbator from jerk off. This has fallen into disuse.

4. (US) a soda-fountain clerk [abbr. SAmE soda jerk].

[US]Berrey & Van den Bark Amer. Thes. Sl. 766: Soda fountain clerk...jerk.
[US]A.I. Bezzerides Thieves’ Market 208: I could be a secretary [...] or a soda jerk, but I’m a whore.
[US](con. WWII) J.O. Killens And Then We Heard The Thunder (1964) 46: Worm was hopelessly in love with the lady soda jerk.
[US]S. Stallone Paradise Alley (1978) 53: Victor nodded at the soda jerk.

5. (US) an ice-cream soda.

[US] M.O. Jones ‘Soda Fountain [...] Calls’ in AS XLII:1 63: Jerk, n. [...] An ice cream soda.
J.F. Mariani Dict. Food and Drink 239: Jerk. An ice cream soda, referring to the jerking motion of a seltzer spigot [HDAS].

In derivatives

jerkitude (n.)

social ineptitude, gaucherie.

KQED radio schedule 8 Aug. 🌐 Host Stephen Dubner speaks with Steve Jobs biographer [...] about the Apple CEO’s well known proclivity towards jerkitude.
jerko (n.) [-o sfx (1)]

(US) a stupid, contemptible person.

[US]S. Kingsley Detective Story 321: Then the jerko took a bus.
[Can]M. Richler Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1964) 35: Hey, look! Look, jerkos!
[US]K. Brasselle Cannibals 107: Listen, jerko, you know you’re special to me.
[US]J.D. Horan Blue Messiah 55: You give ’em to jerko here.
T. Hoosier I’m Not Touching You! 81: Hey Jerko...did you do all this just to get out of having to load and unload the pickup truck?
jerky (adj.)

(US) silly, idiotic.

[US] in Eells Mae West (1984) 331: [cast list] Jerky [...] Harry Wallace.
[US]H.M. Anderson Strip Tease 37: Jerks get backstage [...] and ask questions for ‘jerky reasons’.
[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 154: That’s jerky. Leaving him alone in there with her.
[US]‘Ed Lacy’ Lead With Your Left (1958) 15: ‘A real dumb killing,’ Anderson said. ‘Does sound like one of the jerky ones.’ [Ibid.] 17: Some jerky kid must have done the job.
[US]L. Bruce Essential Lenny Bruce 118: Maybe I am jerky, or somethin.
[UK]Jagger & Richards ‘Undercover of the Night’ 🎵 The John’s are jerky little G. I. Joe’s.
[US]R. Price Breaks 128: I felt outraged, not so much by his jerky beard [...] as by his youth.
S. Davidson Loose Change 104: Susie recalls, ‘There was always some jerky guy who’d been an electronics freak since he was little and he would take charge of the sound system.’.
G.D. McKinney Dance of the Kitchen Maids 361: On my left was a couple, only unlike the jerky guy, they were enjoying themselves.

In compounds

jerk-ass (n.) [-ass sfx]

(US) a contemptible idiot.

[US]M. Baker Nam (1982) 86: You’re a jerk-ass. You got bit in the face and all you’re worried about is you didn’t kill nobody?
jerkface (n.)

(US campus) a foolish, dull person.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 3: jerk-face – a foolish, dull person.
[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 59: Derogatory epithets abound, for example [...] jerk face, nob, punk, quimp.
jerkhead (n.) [sense 2 above + -head sfx]

(US) a stupid, contemptible person.

[Can]M. Richler Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1964) 51: You poor, stupid jerk-head.
[US]Newsweek 21 May n.p.: Reagan’s aides...were heaping the well-respected economist with such epithets as ‘jerkhead’ and ‘dummy’ [HDAS].
A. Diaz Px This.: Diary of the Potted Plant 10: Jerkhead. I’ve worked for people like him before [...] I know what his deal is.
jerkwad (n.) [jerk v.2 (7) + -wad sfx/wad n.4 (1)]

(US) a masturbator, a general term of abuse.

P.J. Morris Right Hand Rule 🌐 Haley was a jerkwad, and now was exactly the right time to tell him so.
Playboy Twit 23 Jul. 🌐 Uncle Bob calls him a ‘cocky jerkwad’, while I preferred ‘aging pretty boy.’ The former being a more visceral gut insult, whereas the latter attacks something a little more ephemeral and personal to this wannabe / never-coulda-been actor. I actually think that Subway wants people to think of the guy as a cocky jerkwad.
jerkweed (n.) [sense 2 above + dickweed under dick n.1 ]

(US) a stupid, contemptible person.

[US] in Harper’s Mag. Jan. 20: Jerkweed...Pinhead...Slimeball...Scuzzbucket [HDAS].
Mutant Reviewers From Hell 19 Jul. 🌐 In Billy Madison, Sandler is a spoiled rich lay about (goofy loser) who has to repeat his entire academic career in order to save his father’s company from the greedy clutches of some uptight, uncool, jerkweed who hates him.
junior jerk (n.) (also jerk of all trades)

(US teen) an unpopular individual.

[US]Chicago Trib. Graphic Section 26 Dec. 7/1: Jive Talk [...] Drips. Sad Sam (or Sal). Cold potatoes. Junior jerk. Junior mess. Jerk of all trades. Dracula’s daughter. Sad specimen. Zombie. Black widow. Lead pipe. Light operator.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

get a jerk on (v.) (also put a jerk on)

to hurry up.

[UK]N&Q 12 Ser. IX 346: Jerk (To Put a, or To Get a) On. To hurry.
[UK]Wodehouse Mating Season 110: He was [...] bidding me to get a jerk on and copy it out.
put a jerk in(to) it (v.)

to act vigorously, smartly or quickly.

[UK](con. 1914–18) Brophy & Partridge Songs and Sl. of the British Soldier.
T. ‘O’Reilly Tiger of the Legion 141: ‘Come on, old son—for any sake put a jerk in it!’ .
[UK]J. Curtis They Drive by Night 89: Here, Stan, quick. There’s a gate down there. Come on. Put a jerk in it.