• This page doesn't explain the origin, but it does explain usage and it explains how to do the 'wanker' gesture, as favoured by motorists all over the UK.
  • Aha- that's quite a rude one actually! As a by the by, a few friends of mine went on a trip to Canada and the well-meaning waiter placed the food on the table with a well-meaning "Omelettes for the wankers" (He'd heard it on a British TV show and thought it was just what British people call each other- kinda like "mate" - oops!) "Wank" is British slang for masturbate (usually male masturbation, though some people use it for women too) and thus "wanker" just means "masturbator". Its generally used to mean something similar to "you idiot!", but a LOT stronger. Sometimes used by girls to refer to insensitive men e.g. "He's just a wanker, you don't need him." but it generally has some implication of stupidity on the part of the insulted person. Some men (usually drunk ones) use it in an affectionate gently mocking sort of way with their friends, but it would be considered out of order to say it in polite company. In anything other than the seediest pub you'd probably be told to tone it down by the landlord, and it usually gets bleeped out when its used on TV or radio even late at night (except on channel 4, which tends to push the boundaries with swearing a bit more than the BBC). Its pretty much one step down from the C-word, but seen as less offensive by some seeing as it doesn't have the same sexiat implications. I have occasionally heard it used to refer to a woman (by Northern Irish people in particular) but its usually a masculine insult.
  • Not really an answer to my own question, but I'm merely adding extra educational value. I'm sure not all of us know how to do the "wanker gesture":
  • I'd love to know its actual origin though, When was it first used?
  • I have seen a lot of explanations for the term Wanker, but I believe the true origin comes from a German word "Wanken" which means: shake, sway or rock. Germans don't use the word as a term for masturbation. Germans do however use a slang word "Wichsen" which means to polish. To insult a German you may call them a "Wichser" which is quite a vulgar term. I wonder how many English speaking people use the term "Onanism"? On a completely different subject I have the theory that the term "dick" used in English slang to describe a penis is also taken from a German word "dick" which means thick or fat. Germans also have a term called "Dickkopf" which directly translates to "thick-head" but in German usually means stubborn or obstinate
  • I suppose the US equivalent would be "jerk", as in "jerk off".
  • How about 'Tosser' or is that not a USA term?
  • We've always used the word "wanker" and "wank" in New Zealand and Australia too, so its usage isn't unique to the U.K alone. It primarily means "Masturbate" or someone who does it. But it has broader applications equal to American: Jerk off (Which we also use) U.S: That guy's a real jerk!(ass hole, dick, idiot) NZ: He's a real wanker! U.S: OMG! I just walked in on my room mate jerking off! NZ: Hah! I just caught my flatmate wanking! U.S: Don, you can be a real ass hole sometimes!! NZ: Don, you can be an utter wanker sometimes!! etc etc
  • I learned recently that "wanker" and "tosser" are interchangeable. I think they are both hilarious. I am going to try to introduce them to the Texas lexicon. Wouldn't that be funny? Can't you hear some no-nonsense Texan walking up and saying "Howdy, aint that Al Gore character a real wanker, quite the tosser that one is.
  • i dont know what it means but i've been caught doing it
  • Wanker means a male who masturbates. I don't know why this word is being used, but it sounds just right, doesn't it? Tosser means the same thing, and this time the meaning makes more sense. In the U.S. we understand what the words mean, but we don't use them unless we want to sounds European. In normal situations, we use asshole, dick, and cunt. When we use these words, we abide by the unwritten law of profane insults; you can only call them "it" if they have "it." So, only men are dicks, only women are cunts, and asshole is fair game. Nice talking to you.
  • Alison is right on the original usage, although they can be used at someone as a harsh version of 'idiot' What Alison is slighlty off on is the word 'cunt'. It's not only women who are called this - in fact, that word is even worse that 'fuck' over here (in England) - we use for nastier people, whereas 'wankers' and 'tossers' are similar, but they are more directed at foolish or idiotic people. Another English profanitiy that sounds hilarious for americans to use is 'Twat' (another word for a vagina). I've never heard an American use it! Finally, we don't call our behinds fannies. A fanny over here is another word for vagina (not so rude, but perhaps used by youngsters - like 'willy' for boys) - imagine the confusion with that one!
  • Angry Kid can explain....
  • It was first used in France.. Quasimodo was lying on the ground at the bottom of Notre Dame shouting for Esmerelda.. She ran down the stairs and onto the street where Quasimodo lay, Quasi Quasi are you okay?? To which he replied, "Esmerelda when I said toss me off, I meant wank me off, not throw me off, you silly tart"
  • Wanker: Jerk off. Dick wad. Scuzzbucket. Tosser. (A man who tugs on his doowangle all day). Words of identical levels of disdain: Arsehole. Pratt. Twazzock. Knob. Moron, Idiot. Loser. The word 'cunt' has a much harder sound to it when said with any dislike. Its a fighting word, and is used to express real aggression. Kind of a wanker you'd like to slam into a wall. P.S. May I recommend the Urban Dictionary, for hours of eye-popping fun and disbelief, gawping at the levels to which humans (usually teenage male contributors?) will sink. Its like finding a rude word in the school dictionary for the first time, but all over again. And again, and well, pretty damn constantly.
  • we all like wanking?
  • not all of them are!:(
  • I believe it is like calling someone a jackass...
  • The US equiv. is´'Jerk off'. As for your last question, we use the word wanker like you use the word jerk of. So, the same reason why you use it! We have slightly different languages.
  • The origins of the word wank, come from the end of the nineteenth century and is an onomatopoeia, which arises from the change over in the army barrack beds from wooden slats to metal spring beds. In the wet and damp conditions the metal soon rusted, and at night all you could hear coming from the barracks was the sound wank wank wank wank, of the metal beds, and they would say "thats the boys having a wank" strange but true.
  • dick wanker, wanker..... I know where cunt came from... cunt, otherwise known as count was used around the rennesiaunce (sp?) time in london, even shakepeare sed it. Count meant vagina back then and even today cunt means vagina. so everytime you call someone a cunt...
  • To wank = to masturbate. I suppose the origin of the phrase was to describe someone who was completely wrapped up in themselves. It implies someone who is obnoxious and selfish.
  • The origin is English based on the slang "wank" or masturbate. It has become a more generalized insult than merely one who masturbates. The American equivalent is jerk-off or jerk. +4
  • Wanker is a common tern used in <a href="" title="australia" style="", class="stronglinks" target="_blank" />Australia</a> for an idiot. It is a term that has been used for more than 30 years.- Paul Hogan used the name Leo Wanker as a character in the 1970's...when the term was in common use.
  • I had a cousin, and his girlfriend, come visit, from England, back in the 80's. We were playing cards with a neighbor, at the kitchen table, and talking. "Victoria" (as she pretentiously demanded to be called) was instructing us in the use of English slang...teaching us to say "have a wizz (or 'wazz'?)" instead of "pee"; "wank" instead of 'jerk off', yadda. At some point I had to "wizz", but didn't remember which word she'd said meant wizz, and I managed to announce to all upon standing, "Excuse me. I have to go have a wank.". There were audible gasps, and Victoria shrieked "What, NOW? What brought THAT on then?" (LOL) I said, "coffee, of course". She said "COFFEE does that? Oh, no wonder you Americans prefer it to tea!. I said oh yes, I have to have wank 5 or 6 times a day because of all the coffee i drink". ...At some point, the mistake was pointed out. But it was all pretty funny.
  • I don't know what ITS equivalent in US profanity is because I don't live in the US. In the UK we use it to describe people who insert rogue apostrophes where they don't belong, things like that.

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