On the etymological relationships of <i>wank</i>, <i>swank</i>, and <i>wonky</i>

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The English slang verb <i>wank</i> (<i>off</i>) &#8216;(of a male) to masturbate; to masturbate (a male)&#8217; has no generally accepted etymology. Using historical and dialectal English data, comparative data from German and other Germanic languages, and a parallel semantic development in French, I establish an etymology for <i>wank</i>, connect it etymologically to English <i>swank</i> (and the exactly parallel German <i>wanken</i> &#8216;to sway, shake, wobble, totter, etc.&#8217; with its apparent <i>s-mobile</i> partner <i>schwanken</i> &#8216;to sway, shake, tremble, stagger, totter, etc.&#8217;, and items related to these) and <i>wonky</i> &#8216;shaky, unstable, etc.&#8217;, and offer surmises about etymologies and relationships among these items and <i>wang</i>, <i>yang</i> &#8216;penis&#8217;; <i>wonk</i>; and <i>yank</i> (for the last two of which there are also no generally accepted etymologies).


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