Definition of jerkin head in English:

jerkin head

noun

Architecture
  • The end of a roof that is hipped for only part of its height, leaving a truncated gable.

    • ‘To the north of the main gable, there extends a roof ridge terminating in a jerkin-head side gable.’
    • ‘The added roof was a steeply pitched interweaving of red tile and jerkin-head gables culminating in a giant chimney on one side.’
    • ‘This center-entrance house has a wide-span porch, its gabled peak blunted by a jerkin head, a popular roof form for bungalows.’
    • ‘New structures should have jerkin heads, the roof gradient should be 33%, and the roofs should be tiled.’
    • ‘The double-tract building with a vestibule on the axis had a pitched roof with jerkin heads and was covered with shingle.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: perhaps from an alteration of jerking (from the verb jerk) + head; compare also with earlier kirkin-head (apparently arbitrarily formed from kirk) in the same sense.