We use cookies for site personalization, analytics and advertising. You can opt out of third party cookies. More info in our privacy policy.   Got it

Brothel

Brothel is from breothan, an Old English word meaning to go to ruin, or degenerate. A brothel first meant a wretch or scoundrel, and later a prostitute; it acquired its modern meaning because of confusion with the completely separate word bordel (from the Latin bordellum, a small farm or cottage). Prostitute is from the Latin prostituere (to expose publicly, to offer for sale). Courtesan is from the Italian cortigiana (courtier) and was originally a prostitute attached to a court. Pornography is from the Greek pornographos (porne, prostitute and graphein, to write).

New Internationalist issue 365 magazine cover This article is from the March 2004 issue of New Internationalist.
You can access the entire archive of over 500 issues with a digital subscription. Subscribe today »

 

Help us produce more like this

Editor Portrait Patreon is a platform that enables us to offer more to our readership. With a new podcast, eBooks, tote bags and magazine subscriptions on offer, as well as early access to video and articles, we’re very excited about our Patreon! If you’re not on board yet then check it out here.

Support us »

Subscribe   Ethical Shop