From Middle High German dierne (“girl; servant”), from Old High German diorna, thiorna (“girl; servant”), from Proto-Germanic *þewernǭ, *þewernō (“maid, servant girl”), from Proto-Indo-European *tekw- (“to run, flow”). The sense “prostitute” developed from the use for a “girl from the lower classes”. It is first attested in the 15th century.
Dirne f (genitive Dirne, plural Dirnen)
- (derogatory, dated, also biblical) whore (prostitute or sexually unreserved woman)
- (archaic or dialectal) girl; lass
- The older sense “girl” is now chiefly restricted to dialectal cognate forms. Northern German Deern and Bavarian Dirndl are widely understood, though not commonly used outside of their traditional areas.