n, adj American. To a Brit, a Yank is anyone of American descent. It’s not altogether complimentary and conjures up an image of Stetsons, oil wells, Cadillacs and overweight children. The word comes from “Yankee” – after receiving and trying to synopsize nearly a million different explanations for where that word came from, I realised that I was drifting wildly off topic and so I’ve scrubbed them all. Go and look it up elsewhere. yank tank American car. A description one might regard as unfair to the humble tank.