Meaning of yerk in English:


(also yark)


[with object]Scottish, Northern English
  • 1Strike sharply, especially with a stick or whip; thrash or flog.

    • ‘Nine, or ten times I had thought to have yerked him here under the ribs’
    • ‘I'll yerk the sullen Devil out of you.’
    • ‘We should yerk the yokel of a Yankee with the knout.’
    • ‘Buy the birds, he was saying as he yerked me under the ribs.’
    • ‘More soundly could my scourge have yerked many.’
    beat, strike, hit, flog, thrash, lash, birch, whip, horsewhip, strap, leather, flagellate, scourge
  • 2Pull or push with a sudden movement.

    • ‘He seized the parson by the chin and ears and yerked him upwards several times.’
    • ‘He saw him knocking and yarking the horse about and swearing at it.’
    • ‘They yerked to and fro, snorting with rage and terror.’
    • ‘The rotten, rain-soaked khaki tears easily when two men are yerking at your collar.’
    • ‘Thou hast fair yarked me off my legs.’


Late Middle English imitative of a sudden movement.