Green’s Dictionary of Slang

jerks n.1

1. [19C] a hangover.

2. [late 19C–1900s] (US) constr. with the, the physical writhings that are evinced by one who is supposedly possessed of the Holy Spirit.

3. [late 19C; 1940s] (US) constr. with the, acute anxiety.

In phrases

give someone the jerks (v.) [? fig. use of sense 3 above or ? predecessor to jerk around under jerk v.2 ]

[1910s–30s] to tease, to hoax.