The word "prostitution" can also be used metaphorically to mean debasing oneself or working towards an unworthy cause or "selling out". In the Ancient Near East along the Tigris–Euphrates river system there were many shrines and temples or "houses of heaven" dedicated to various deities documented by the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus in The Histories As early as the 18th century BC, ancient Mesopotamia recognized the need to protect women's property rights.In this sense, "prostituting oneself" or "whoring oneself" the services or acts performed are typically not sexual. In the Code of Hammurabi, provisions were found that addressed inheritance rights of women, including female prostitutes.
Female prostitutes could be independent and sometimes influential women.
They were required to wear distinctive dresses and had to pay taxes.
The clients of prostitutes are also known as johns or tricks in North America and punters in the British Isles.
These slang terms are used among both prostitutes and law enforcement for persons who solicit prostitutes.
Common alternatives for prostitute include escort and whore; however, not all professional escorts are prostitutes.
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).
Depending on the jurisdiction, prostitution can be legal or illegal.
A person who works in this field is called a prostitute, and is a kind of sex worker.
Although a popular etymology connects "hooker" with Joseph Hooker, a Union general in the American Civil War, the word more likely comes from the concentration of prostitutes around the shipyards and ferry terminal of the Corlear's Hook area of Manhattan in the 1820s, who came to be referred to as "hookers".
A streetwalker solicits customers on the streets or in public places, while a call girl makes appointments by phone, or in recent years, through email or the internet.
However, sex worker can also mean anyone who works within the sex industry or whose work is of a sexual nature and is not limited solely to prostitutes.