Talk:wank

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i ussualy hear people use that work as have sex , not so much as masturbate. Frizabela 00:44, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

To wank is to masturbate, it is not used as to have sex. I'm not sure where you may have heard tat usage?--Williamsayers79 17:03, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

I first heard the verb "to wank about something" to mean "discuss uselessly, esp. whine", and while that is clearly not the prevalent use, it may deserve mention. I have never added to the Wikitionary, so I'm not sure how to formulate the entry, so I'll ask someone else to do that. Some sources for this usage:

http://www-tech.mit.edu/V124/N20/ValentiIntervie.20f.html http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/news/upcoming_releases/fall_out_boy_finish_new_album.html http://forums.grsecurity.net/viewtopic.php?p=5830&sid=18fc685f8d1de3ae9f9e937c5e1f4b44 http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:diD-IuXkuFAJ:pwtorchforum.proboards54.com/index.cgi%3Faction%3Dgotopost%26board%3Dgeneral%26thread%3D1177449976%26post%3D1177462174+%22wank+about%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=24&gl=us http://www.santabarbara.com/dining/review_read.asp?pk_restaurant=796 http://www.santabarbara.com/dining/review_read.asp?pk_restaurant=983 (different authors) http://i-wisdom.typepad.com/iwisdom/2006/09/live_from_eday__4.html

---Grem

First use[edit]

We don't mention this issue. For the record though, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley (published in 1929 but regarding the late 1880s) has this implied mention of 'wanking':

"This uncle [...] contributed what he esteemed a brilliantly witty article to the Boy's Magazine, the organ of an Evangelical attempt to destroy the manhood of our public schools. It was called The Two Wicked Kings. These were described as tyrants who ruined the lives of boys and enslaved them. Their names were Smo-King and Drin-King. Uncle Tom called my attention to his masterpiece and I said, with shocked surprise, "But, my dear Uncle, you have forgotten to mention a third, the most dangerous and deadly of all!" He couldn't think who that was. I told him. [...] Here was certainly a sin worth sinning and I applied myself with characteristic vigour to its practice. [though...] I had no thought of connecting the service of the "third King" with the reproduction of the species"

Has anyone got any other info on the word's first use?

One etymology places the origin in military barracks, where the rhythmic motion of one masturbating would set up a semi-musical sound from the bedsprings suggesting the onomatopea "wank, wank, wank, wank." —This comment was unsigned.

Please be serious. [1] --Connel MacKenzie 03:51, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

I think that is (or could well be) a serious etymology - online etymology dict[2] says it only goes back to the seventies - i can well believe this - i had never heard it before and i've been swearing and wanking for years. also it is now catching on in the USA but with far less vulgar intent.Kylemew 10:56, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

The British usage goes back at least to the second world war, and probably much earlier. The word appeared in Eric Partridge's dictionary of forces slang in 1948, but in the 4th edition of his general dictionary of slang, he thinks the word goes back to 1870. The "objectionable or contemptible person" sense more often used in America dates from about 1970. Dbfirs 21:41, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
My own theory of the origin is that it comes from "whank", (originally "quhange", old northern English, from the sixteenth century, for a thin leather rope, or a sharp pull or jerk), but I can't find evidence for this so I might be wrong. The dialect word went out of use when the new meaning took over after the war. Dbfirs 21:55, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

mainly British?[edit]

I've learnt and always assumed that to wank was British slang, as opposed to American to jack/jerk off. However, I can't find any usage note confirming this. And admittedly I've often enough heard Americans use this word, but couldn't it be that the word entered American English only recently? Caesarion 22:34, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

In America it's only used by musicians to describe the act of playing random notes at high speed in total disregard of harmony and key in the hope of impressing people who do not know much about music.

--72.201.236.42 06:02, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I think we could probably use a "UK" (or similar) gloss here. Equinox 06:05, 3 January 2010 (UTC)


For what it's worth, it is also used in Canada and probably Aus/NZ 99.236.245.18 05:24, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Whenever I hear or read Americans using it in a transitive sense I die a little inside. I'm pretty sure most transitive uses are exclusive to North America and non-native English speakers. 78.149.104.92 01:02, 17 August 2012 (UTC)