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The English word whore derives from the Old English word hōra, from the Proto-Germanic *hōrōn (prostitute), which derives from the Proto-Indo-European root *keh₂- meaning "desire", a root which has also given us Latin cārus (dear), whence the French cher (dear, expensive) and the Latin cāritās (love, charity).Use of the word whore is widely considered pejorative, especially in its modern slang form of ho.Women: whore, hooker, call girl, business girl (B-girl), streetwalker, trollop, strumpet, courtesan, escort, lady of the evening, working girl, doxy, scarlet woman, harlot, drab Men: Rent boy, male escort, gigolo, lad model, gent of the night, sporting boy, weeping willy Female clients: janes, either as money, goods, services, or some other benefit agreed upon by the transacting parties.Prostitution is sometimes described as commercial sex or hooking.
Correctly or not, use of the word prostitute without specifying a sex may commonly be assumed to be female; compound terms such as male prostitution or male escort are therefore often used to identify males.
A literal translation therefore is: "to put up front for sale" or "to place forward".
The Online Etymology Dictionary states, "The notion of 'sex for hire' is not inherent in the etymology, which rather suggests one 'exposed to lust' or sex 'indiscriminately offered.'" The word prostitute was then carried down through various languages to the present-day Western society.
Those offering services to female customers are commonly known as gigolos; those offering services to male customers are hustlers or rent boys.
Clients of prostitutes are sometimes known as johns or tricks in North America and punters in the British Isles.