world's oldest profession

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

1888,[1] coined by Rudyard Kipling as “most ancient profession in the world”.[2] Alternative forms appeared in early 1900s, present form popular by 1930s.[2] Similar terms with various senses (not necessarily prostitution) exist in other languages.

Noun[edit]

the world's oldest profession (uncountable)

  1. (euphemistic) Prostitution.

Translations[edit]

Some local terms have slight variants while others are strict translations with varying degrees of usage.

References[edit]

  1. ^ world's oldest profession” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Is Prostitution Really the World's Oldest Profession? It is pretty old., by Forrest Wickman, Slate, March 6, 2012