Green’s Dictionary of Slang

jerk n.1

1. an act of sexual intercourse.

2. [1930s+] (US) a male masturbator [jerk off v.].

3. [1930s+] (orig. US, also jerkface) a general term of abuse; a fool, an idiot, a failure.

4. [1940s+] (US) a soda-fountain clerk [abbr. SAmE soda jerk].

5. [1960s+] (US) an ice-cream soda.

In derivatives

jerkitude (n.)

[2010s] social ineptitude, gaucherie.

jerko (n.) [-o sfx (1)]

[1940s+] (US) a stupid, contemptible person.

jerky (adj.)

[1930s+] (US) silly, idiotic.

In compounds

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

[1960s+] (US) a contemptible idiot.

jerkface (n.)

[1970s+] (US campus) a foolish, dull person.

jerkhead (n.) [sense 2 above + -head sfx]

[1950s+] (US) a stupid, contemptible person.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

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

[1920s–40s] to hurry up.

put a jerk in(to) it (v.)

[1910s–30s] to act vigorously, smartly or quickly.