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Why do we call prostitutes hookers

January 30th, 2009

Prostitution is a term used to refer to the act of doing sexual activities in exchange for goods or money.  There are a lot of issues regarding the morality and ethics of prostitution, as well as the legal and social matters.  The physical and mental health of prostitutes is also a concern.

Although prostitution is illegal in some places, and even punishable by death in Sudan, many countries all over the world have different takes on prostitution.  In some jurisdictions, prostitution is legalized, but strictly regulated, in order to control the spreading of sexually transmitted diseases and to reduce sexual slavery.  There are also some places where prostitution is completely legalized, and prostitutes are treated as legal tax-paying workers.

But in whatever place you might be in, there’s no denying that prostitution exists.  In fact, it has even been dubbed as “the world’s oldest profession.”  Today, many terms are used to call the prostitutes, including escort, whore, streetwalker, call girl, and hooker.  Terms like sex trade worker and commercial sex worker are also being used as an alternative, to remove the social stigma often associated with prostitution.

But where do these terms come from?  And how did it come to refer to prostitutes? Why do people today call prostitutes hookers?  Little is known about the origins of these terms, but there are many stories that could probably give reasons as to how the prostitutes are now called different names.

For a lot of people, prostitutes are called hookers for the obvious reason.  They are called “hookers” because of the nature of their profession.  Because they constantly “hook up” with their clients or customers, they are thus named as “hookers.”  Hook up is a slang that when used as a verb, means to engage in sexual acts, although not necessarily intercourse.  It could also mean meeting someone.

Another myth is that Union General Joseph Hooker kept a “reserve” of prostitutes and was often called “Hooker’s reserves” or “Hooker’s division” by his camp followers.  However, this is not true, since the term “hooker” was already used even before the American Civil War.

It is said that its use was first recorded in the year 1845 to refer to a part of New York that was known as “the Hook,” where many prostitutes could be found.

There are a lot of tales as to how people nowadays refer to prostitutes as hookers.  The next time someone asks you about it, now you can share an interesting piece of trivia about how prostitutes got the name “hookers.”

  1. April 15th, 2010 at 18:22 | #1

    It is very educational and I like it.

  2. David
    March 13th, 2011 at 12:55 | #2

    Hookers are always on the lookout for “marks”.

    OK, in order to figure out how the word ‘hooker’ originated, get really, really, really drunk. So drunk that you are almost black out but you’re still walking around.

    Get separated from your group.

    Start walking around somewhat aimlessly.

    Hookers are looking for you. This is when you are a prime target.

    I have thought about paying for sex, its not like I have a policy for against it like some guys do. But I have never in my life consciously sought out a hooker.

    Hookers know this. There is a market for really drunk guys walking around metropolitan areas.

    Wake up the next morning, and you’ll likely realize how the term got originated.

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