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"Jerking my Chain"

Posted by R. Berg on October 24, 2002

In Reply to: "Jerking my Chain" posted by Ed Stansell on October 24, 2002

: : : Surely it has the same origin as the
: : : British "Pulling my chain", from lavatorial
: : : origins. Is yanking the same as jerking anyway?

: : Depends on what your doing. :) But very similar, yes. Perhaps Yanking is an Americanization (Yankees).

: I've alway heard that this phrase came from jerking a dog's chain which is very disturbing to the dog. Jerking someone's chain is doing something to purposely upset them. I don't see what plumbing has to do with it.
: ES

Adrian: Yes, "yank" and "jerk" have approximately the same meaning.
Paulus: The origin of "yank" is unknown; the origin of "Yankee" is uncertain, although hypotheses exist (Oxford Engl. Dict.). The two words are probably not related. The OED labels "yank" "dial. and U.S."
ES: Plumbing has nothing to do with it except that a lavatory chain and a dog's chain can both be pulled.

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