Green’s Dictionary of Slang

jerk off v.

1. [mid-19C+] to masturbate.

2. in fig. uses.

(a) [late 19C] (Aus.) to do quickly and perfunctorily, esp. in the context of writing.

(b) [1950s+] (US) to mess around, to waste time or energy.

(c) [1960s] (US) to get out, to go away; often in imper.

(d) [1960s] to waste time, to work at a pointless task.

(e) [1960s+] (US) to tease, to cheat, to treat badly, to infuriate someone; as jerk someone off.

(f) [1990s+] to flatter.

3. [20C+] to masturbate a partner.

4. [1950s+] (US drugs) to inject a drug, pumping the blood/heroin/water mixture in and out of the vein.

5. [1960s+] to move one’s hand over an object in a way that is either obviously masturbatory or else just a nervous or repetitive fiddling.