world's oldest profession

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Alternative forms[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.


the world's oldest profession ‎(uncountable)

  1. (euphemistic) Prostitution.


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


  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