And here we are.
In modern times, the word twerk can be traced back to the New Orleans “bounce” of the early 90s. That's in line with what is means today.
But it can be traced even further back in time. The first known use of the word twerk was actually back in 1820, in a letter to Mary Shelley - the author of Frankenstein.
“Really the Germans do allow themselves such twists & twirks of the pen,
that it would puzzle any one." (1820 Charles Clairmont, Letter, 26 Feb.)
Back then it was a noun - synonymous with ‘twitch’ - and was originally spelled ‘twirk’. Usage eventually had dictionaries using ‘twerk’ as the popular way to spell the word.
From there it went through a slew of different meanings. From referring to a worthless person, to a fool, to a jerk by 1928, and then morphing into a verb - a twist - by the late 1940s, until we reach the 1990s, where we have our notorious dance.
And on that dance move, how many of us have actually tried it? I have, and it wasn’t pretty.