Etymology and Terminology
The English word masturbation was introduced in the 18th century, based on the Latin verb masturbari, alongside the more technical and slightly earlier onanism. The Latin verb masturbari is of uncertain origin. Suggested derivations include an unattested word forpenis, *mazdo, cognate with Greek mézea μέζεα, "genitals", or alternatively a corruption of an unattested *manusturpare ("to defile with the hand"), by association with turbare "to disturb".
While masturbation is the formal word for this practice, many other expressions are in common use. Terms such as playing with yourself, pleasuring oneself and slang such as wanking, jerking off, and frigging are common. Self-abuse and self-pollution were common in early modern times and are still found in modern dictionaries. A large variety of other euphemisms and dysphemisms exist which describe masturbation. For a list of terms, see the entry for masturbate in Wiktionary.
List of therms: