Wankers: - A Spotter's Guide

A lot of you American souls have probably heard of this offensive slang term, but aren’t too sure of how to use it, and what it really means.

Well, allow me to introduce an example of a total wanker I encountered today, and perhaps then it will become clearer.


I had to design a website over the weekend. It was a rush job, because the owner of the product it advertises is going to be on TV in the morning promoting the product, and he wanted his old website to be much improved upon.

I work for a Web Hosting Company that is also a part of an ISP franchise, and the website job was handed to us from another of the franchisees, presumably because we would do a good job of it.

So we quoted basically 8 hours work, and I zipped through it in the weekend to get it finished and approved today. It even has a nifty wee animated gif. As you might expect, on the front page I put a little text link to our own Hosting/Design company’s website, for our own promotion. A perfectly standard and widely accepted practice.

They liked the site, asked for no changes, and put it up.

And they changed the link to us, so that it instead points to their own Hosting company, thereby implying they designed the site (and one look at their own site will tell you, nuh-uh, no they didn’t!).

The man who changed that link is a complete and utter wanker.

So now you know.

Hero For A New Millennium!

The Legend Of PigeonMan - updates every Wed & Sat. If I can be bothered.

So, kind of the equivalent of a “rotten bastard?”

Or more of an “irrepressible moron?”

Sucks to your assmar.

I think the closest Yankee translation to this British Commonwealth Profanity is “Annoying Asshole”.

Somewhere near that, Guano ?


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

The American equivalent of “wanker” is, of course, “jerk-off.”

Live a Lush Life
Da Chef

God I love that word… “wanker”… it suits SO MANY people I have to deal with in my work… :slight_smile:

Mom always said there’d be days like this…she just never said there’d be so MANY of them!!!

That’s a literal translation, but “asshole” is a much better traduction libre.

My favorite “wanker quotes”:

From Trainspotting (Scottish):
“Some people hate the English. I don’t. They’re wankers. And we’ve been colonized by wankers.”

From Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (set in WWII, from the viewpoint of an American Marine):
“‘So what’s the point?’ Shaftoe asks. He asks this because he is expecting Root to give him an order, which is usually what men of the talkative sort end up doing after jabbering on for a while. But no order seems to be forthcoming, because that’s not Root’s agenda. Root just felt like talking about words. The SAS blokes refer to this kind of activity as wanking.”

As an American who has loved the word wanker for years, I have found the most accurate translation to be “fuckwad”.

Never had anyone ask me what I meant by that.

Wanker has a far superior conversational flow, though. Fuckwad tends to be a hard stop.

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity.

No, “Jerk-off” isn’t that close. Yes, they mean the same thing but it’s not the same severity (sp? word?). I’ve heard “toss-piece” a few times while I was there, that and “wanker” are more commonly used and “jerk-off” isn’t, which as a far more serious form of insult results in “fuck-stick”.
I’d say the American eqivalent is, say, “Asshole”.

A wanker doesn’t have to be an asshole. Wanker is typically used to describe a ‘blowhard’, or someone constantly shooting off at the mouth over things he doesn’t understand. It can also be translated as ‘nerd’, or about a dozen other things. It’s more universal in scope than some of the definitions proposed here.

Yeah, wanker is a specific term, really.

Bastard doesn’t work, as that implies malicious intent. Asshole is close, but again seems malicious.

Wanker is usually just an annoying dickhead coupled with disillusionment that a human being can be so selfish. Or at least, that’s how I’m using it this time.

It’s so hard to define!

Hero For A New Millennium!

The Legend Of PigeonMan - updates every Wed & Sat. If I can be bothered.

Wanker was also the maiden name of Peggy Bundy on the FOX show, “Married, with Children.” Her family was supposed to be a bunch of backward hicks.

Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.