For some time now, some of my on-line friends have advised me to provide a version of CassidySlangScam without the invective aimed at Cassidy and his supporters. In response to that advice, I am working on providing a glossary of the terms in Cassidy’s ludicrous book How The Irish Invented Slang with a short, simple and business-like explanation of why Cassidy’s version is wrong.
Daniel Cassidy, in his etymological hoax, How The Irish Invented Slang, claimed that uath-anchor is a real Irish phrase and is defined as ‘self-abuse; masturbation; fig. a masturbator’. This, according to Cassidy, is the origin of the slang word wanker. In fact, there are many genuine expressions for masturbation in Irish, such as féintruailliú, féinsuaitheadh, lámhchairdeas or lámhchartadh.
The word uath-anchor does not exist at all. It and its supposed meanings were invented by Daniel Cassidy. If it did exist, it would mean something akin to ‘spontaneous ill-treatment’. In reality, wanker is probably derived from English dialect expressions meaning something like ‘to hit’, but there is no certainty about its etymology (except that it doesn’t come from the non-existent uath-anchor!)