Green’s Dictionary of Slang

jerk v.2

1. to copulate; thus jerking.

[UK]Dekker Shoemakers’ Holiday IV i: In faith I would haue yearkt and firkt your Priscilla.
[UK] ‘Tom Nash his Ghost’ in Grosart Works of T. Nashe I (1883–4) lxix: I am a Ghost, and Ghosts doe feare no Lawes [...] I had a yerking, firking, jerking veine.
[UK]H. Nevile Newes from the New Exchange 6: Dr Smell-Smock [...] who jerks her both behind and before.
[UK]J. Tatham Rump IV i: As for the Rump, I smell ’tis stale already, and must be pepper’d when thy Lord returns; dost think Wench it shall be a fitting place then, no I warrant thee, he that jerkt it when he came out of the West, will do the like, when he comes out of the North.
[UK] ‘Assembly at Kensington’ Harleian Mss. 7315266v: [They are] like their Grand Mamma Kirk Who in her young days was swingingly Jirkt.
[UK] ‘Loving Mistress’ Pepys Ballads (1987) III 164: Wanton Will ... a brisk young Lad, he’d jerk us till he made us mad.
[UK]J. Dunton Bumography 50: There’s Health and Life in Tunbridge-Wells [...] The Tails of Rakes and Beau I’m here to Touch And if I fetch the blood they must not grutch, For han’t the Ladys Tails bin Jerk’d as much?
[UK] Burns ‘The Cooper o’ Dundee’ Merry Muses of Caledonia (1965) 134: He jerk her sae hard that she sprung an end-hoopin’.
[US]E. Field ‘A French Crisis’ Facetiae Americana 19: She’d ‘Come the Caster,’ niggle, jerk, and ‘Hear the Nightingale.’.
[US]E.E. Landy Underground Dict. (1972) 112: jerk. v. (B.) Have sexual intercourse.

2. (also yerk) to accost; to beat.

[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 59: We have been already jib’d (said one) that is jerkt at the Whipping-post.
[UK]T. Duffet Mock Songs 108: There was a Jerking Master / That was of humour muddy, / His Scholars he’d Lerk, / And so fondly Jerk, / Till their breeches were all bloody.
Johnson Eng. Dict.
[UK]M. Scott Tom Cringle’s Log (1834) 260: While the old woman keelhauled me with a poker on one side, he yerked at me on the other, until at length he gave me a regular cross-buttock.

3. to write or utter.

[UK] cited in Partridge DSUE (1984).
[US]‘Artemus Ward’ Artemus Ward, His Book 97: I don’t ’prove of puttin verses in Proze rittins, tho ef oceashun requires I can Jerk a Poim ekal to any of them Atlantic Munthly fellers.

4. (US) to take, to snatch.

[US]W.H. Thomes Bushrangers 102: Let him alone, or the traps will be here and jerk you off.

5. (US) to draw a gun or weapon.

[US]‘Mark Twain’ in Butte Record (Oroville, CA) n.p.: One of the ‘bucks’ jerked something from his belt, that glistened in the moonlight, and looked very much like an Arkansas toothpick, and made for a Mick [R].

6. (US) to draw beer, soda etc. from a tap.

[US]J. Miller Memorie and Rime 20: They stared at me, but went on jerking beer behind the counter.
[US]F. Hutcheson Barkeep Stories 166: ‘D’ you s’pose a guy dat’s jerkin’ beer fer a livin’ is goin’ t’ lay off fer a week to go huntin’ de booze?’.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘The Joy Ride’ in Backblock Ballads 102: An’ Lena Crump who jerks the pump / Down at the Southern Star.
[UK]C. Beaton Cecil Beaton’s N.Y. 57: My conception is you oughta be doin’ better’n joikin’ if this is all you can turn out.
[US]A.I. Bezzerides Thieves’ Market 208: I got me a job jerking sodas.

7. to masturbate.

[UK]Barrere & Leland Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.
[US]‘J.M. Hall’ Anecdota Americana I 137: I’ve been screwed, sucked, jerked, everything.
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 278: All of them jerking away for dear life in the dormitories as soon as night came on.
[US] ‘Peter Pullin’ Blues’ in Logsdon Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing (1995) 273: Now just how long have you jerked your fuckin’ dong?
[US]M. Richler The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1964) 80: She jerks away for dear life every night.
[US]J. Rechy Numbers (1968) 185: He [...] is playing with himself with one hand while he jerks Johnny with the other.
(con. 1970) Del Vecchio 13th Valley (1983) 209: Motherfuck. You jerkin yer cock?
[UK]Guardian Weekend 5 June 38: Jerking away in the front row, they didn’t think we could see them.
[US]‘Single Daddy’ ‘Kristen’ [Internet] I jerked my meat until I shot cum on the bedspread.

8. (Aus./US) to dismiss, to disqualify, to withdraw; thus the sudden jerk, the ending of an affair.

[Aus]E. Dyson Fact’ry ’Ands 249: Er lad name iv Creegan [...] what got ther sudden jerk fer punchin’ ther boss er clinke rin ther whiskers.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 July 24/1: I own I love the little town of Sydney by the Sea, / But when the month of June comes round the place grows stale to me. / I’ve simply got to jerk my job. A fever fills my breast, / I seem to hear upon the air the Mandate of the West.
[US]Green & Laurie Show Biz from Vaude to Video 155: The actor in the chair would pretend to die as some sparks shot out from behind him beneath him. But even this was too much for Hemmerstein, and the act was jerked out.

9. (US) to cheat, to mistreat.

[US]Funky Four + 1 ‘Rappin and Rockin the House’ [lyrics] We gave a lot of parties and we got jerked / But that’s all right because we be good sports.
S. Hager Illus. Hist. of Hip Hop 100: He jerked me out of twenty dollars.
[US](con. 1985–90) P. Bourjois In Search of Respect 80: She helped for nothing — got jerked.

10. (US campus, also jerk over) of a person, to mess around, to annoy deliberately, to harass; of a situation, to make a mess, to interfere with.

[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 82: I don’t want a bunch of hairbags [...] fucking things up [...] jerking it over.
[US]P. Munro Sl. U. 115: jerk/jerk over to treat disrespectfully.
[US](con. 1985–90) P. Bourjois In Search of Respect 89: If I got busted, he knows I wouldn’t jerk him for the bail money.

11. (US black) to spend freely.

[US]L. Stavsky et al. A2Z.

In compounds

jerk jelly (n.)

semen, usu. on context of masturbation.

Titan Man Press Release at [Internet] But they can’t stop there. Brandt’s covered in sweat, spit and jerk jelly, so Grant, Trevor and Stern hose him down with long golden streams that have the gulping piss-pig writhing in pleasure. 13 Jan. [Internet] Blonde hair, pony tails, and a tight ass! We got Drew to cum along for the ride after we flashed her some cash. I can't believe I am doing this [...] turns into Fuck me harder you bastard!. Everyone enjoys the finale of jerk jelly all over her. [Internet] Play the new sex game Porn Game: Fucking Beach online. Here you may demonstrate your sexual potential. Show your lady’s joy and jerk-jelly. Shoot your white cream on a girl’s face, so that she could taste it.
jerk-silly (adj.) (also jerk-simple)

(US) mentally unbalanced, supposedly from chronic masturbation.

[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 805: jerk-silly – Applied to an inmate who chronically masturbates.
[US]J. Ross Dead Are Mine 269: Christ! I must be jerk simple to want to go back to action [HDAS].
[US]B. Rodgers The Queens’ Vernacular 158: If each night becomes jack night exclusively, the man is brushed off as being jerk silly.

In phrases

jerk a knot (v.) [SE knot, a lump or bruise]

(US) to hit or punch someone.

[US]H.A. Smith Life in a Putty Knife Factory (1948) 42: Now, git outa here before I jerk a knot in yer tail!
[UK]Per/se 1 17: If you ain’t back down in this field in about two seconds, I’m comin up to that privy and jerk a knot in your tail.
R. Peck Family of Women 11: I will jerk a knot in your tail [...] Your sass will cost you dear.
[US]Ebonics Primer at [Internet] jerk a knot Definition: give someone a beating. Example: If he don’t step off, I’m fixin to jerk a knot in his ass!
S. Sieweke Things Church Girls Don’t Talk About 171: ‘If I were your mama, I’d jerk a knot in your tail!’ And then [...] I lunged in his direction, doubled up my fist and hit him with my best shot.
jerk around (v.)

1. (US) to treat badly, to tease someone, to mess someone about, as jerk someone around.

[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 349: It was fierce, the way I got jerked around for a farmer that time.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Dream Street Rose’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 48: They find her jerking citizens around.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Big Shoulders’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 590: Now I know why you are jerking me around.
[US]L. Bruce Essential Lenny Bruce 136: Don jerk me around.
[UK]G.F. Newman You Flash Bastard 130: I want my lawyer here, now – no more horseshit. I’m not some two-cent hood you can jerk around.
[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 369: You’re gonna get jerked around some more like you did by these two cops.
[US]S.L. Hills Tragic Magic 159: They had jerked me around on my parole. I had met all the parole conditions, and I was still in prison.
[US](con. 1985–90) P. Bourjois In Search of Respect 163: What happened was they started jerking me around.
[US]C. Stella Eddie’s World 93: Don’t jerk me around, brother.
[US]Simon & Zorzi ‘Unconfirmed Reports’ Wire ser. 5 ep. 2 [TV script] Tired of being jerked around.

2. (US campus) to waste time, to fool around.

[US]Baker et al. CUSS.
[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 158: Why you wanna go jerking around looking for somebody else?
jerk off

see separate entries.

jerk over (v.)

see sense 10 above.

jerk someone’s joint (v.) [joint n. (1)]

to masturbate someone else, e.g. of a prostitute and her client.

[US]M. Morgan Homeboy 14: They didn’t just jerk anyone’s joint under the table.

In exclamations

SE in slang uses

In phrases

jerk across the Jordan (v.) [SE jerk + River Jordan, fig. used as a place that had to be crossed in death]

(Aus.) to execute by hanging.

[[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 10 Jan. 4/5: Who will jerk Ah Hook into the hereafter tomorrow morning)].
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 31 Oct. 12/4: He was assured that there was no hope for him, and that he would be jerked across the Jordan to a dead certainty. Yet he didn’t jerk.
jerk someone’s chain (v.) (also jerk someone’s bird) [SE jerk, as an owner drags on a dog’s lead to control it + chain/bird n.3 (1)]

to annoy, to distract forcefully, to taunt.

S. Kennedy Palmetto Co. 191: ‘Who jerked your chain?’ he asked unconcernedly. ‘I guess I got the jitters,’ she replied.
[US]G.V. Higgins Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) 114: Hey Dave [...] don’t jerk my chain, okay?
[US]C. Heath A-Team 2 (1984) 75: You’ve been jerking my chain for two days now [...] What is it you’re after, huh?
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 130: We were being sent home at 10.00. We all stood at our jobs wonderin’ if our chains were bein’ jerked.
[US]R. Price Clockers 212: I think someone’s jerking your bird over there.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 5: Edie frowned, not believing it [...] Man, you jerkin my chain.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 54: I smacked you, lightly, because you’re jerkin my chain, Billy.
jerk the cat (v.) [var. on whip the cat v. (3)]

to vomit.

[UK]R. Armin Two Maids of More-clacke (1880) 70: Ile tutch [...] their tongues tippes, ie baste their bellies and their lippes till we haue ierk’t the cat with our three whippes .
jerk the tinkler (v.) [tinkler n.2 ]

to ring a bell.

[UK]Dickens Oliver Twist (1966) 155: ‘Jerk the tinkler.’ These words, in plain English, conveyed an injunction to ring the bell.
M. Chester Memoirs of Madame Chester of Manchester 34: ‘Now, then, Sam [...] drop down and jerk the tinkler;’ whereupon Sam alighted and gave a violent pull at the bell.
[UK]Belgravia 43 11: Permit me to jerk the tinkler, and the slavey will show you the way out.
jerk to Jesus (v.) (also jerk to Jericho)

(US) to execute by hanging; note attrib. use in cit. 1946.

[US] in Nat. Police Gazette 8 Mar. 14: The Chicago Times [...] headed its article [...] ‘Jerked to Jesus’ [HDAS].
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 3 Feb. 5/6: There was not a hitch in the proceedings — except, of course, the hitch behind the ear of the desperado who had just been jerked to Jericho.
[US]DN V 227: Many readers may remember when the pages of the daily papers headlined a hanging as ‘Jerked to Jesus.’.
[US]L. Pound ‘American Euphemisms for Dying’ in AS XI:3 200: Jerk to Jesus.
[US]W.L. Gresham Nightmare Alley (1947) 87: I heard the kid go into that jerk-’em-to-Jesus routine.
jerk up (v.)

1. (US) to arrest.

[US] in Spirit of the Times (N.Y.) 22 July 241: The Commissioners ‘made no bones’ about jerking us up.
[US]Ade Forty Modern Fables 228: If any Stranger began to act New along Main Street, he was Jerked Up in less than no time.
[US]G.B. McCutcheon Rose in the Ring 122: The cops [...] jerk up a circus man on the slightest excuse [DA].

2. (US) to reprimand.

‘O. Henry’ ‘Last of the Troubadors’ in Complete Works (1953) VII 798: You want to jerk Bradshaw up about them last hams he sent us.
[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 51: For a moment he thought of asking Ponchie . . . to jerk up Psycho MIke.

3. (US) to impose upon, to mess someone around.

‘R. Brown’ & R. Angus A.K.A. Narc 198: [Don’t] try to jerk them up and make them wait to be paid.