Monday, October 20, 2008

Word on the street #8: A prostitute

You may be wondering which term you should use when referring to your friendly neighborhood prostitute, depending on how you feel about her at the time. Well wonder no more. Here are 10 different terms for "prostitute," "streetwalker," or "woman of ill repute," ranked from most offensive to least.

So the next time you want to take a page out of John McCain's book and say, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a _____, you _____!" you'll have just the words to fill in those tricky blanks!

10) Village bicycle
What you may think is a clever metaphor is the ultimate insult to your local streetwalker. Not only does it imply that she has been "ridden" by many men, it also calls her one of the cheapest, slowest modes of transportation out there. It beats "village pogo stick," but "village Maserati" or "village Concorde" may be a better choice.

9) Ho-bag(g)
Well I never! If you refer to a prostitute by this term, you are insinuating that she is somehow descended from the families of Ho Chi Minh and Richard Bagg (of "Van Wilder"). Illegitimate love-child of an evil Communist leader and a douchey, uptight pre-med frat boy? No thanks.

8) Trollop
As John McCain once said to his wife, "At least I don't plaster on the make-up like a trollop, you cunt!" This term is something that John McCain pulled from his childhood in the late 1800's (or was it mid 1800's?). The term is extremely antiquated, but legend has it that a "trollop" was a very, very bad thing to call somebody.

7) Strumpet
Another old one, similar to "trollop." However this one is very easy to play off, as the sound "strumpet" comes up quite frequently in the English language. For example:
"Strumpet? No, I said, 'He was playing his trumpet.'"
"Strumpet? No, we were just playing a game of cards and I said, 'If you play a club, my hearts trump it.'"
"Strumpet? No, I said, 'Captain Morgan's parrot is definitely the best rum pet.'"
The possibilities are endless.

6) Hooker
Sounds a bit offensive, but fortunately you have an easy out here. When the strumpet in question takes offense to this term, you should clarify what you meant by saying, "I was talking about T.J. Hooker from the TV series, you know, William Shatner." To which the prostitute will likely respond, "Shatner? I barely even know her!" You will then both have a good laugh and be on your merry way.

5) Whore
Actually quite an offensive term, but the prostitute will appreciate that you expended the energy required to move your facial muscles enough to pronounce the "w" and the "re" rather than just saying "ho" (which it ends up isn't really that offensive - see below). Just make sure you enunciate.

4) Ho
This is actually a common Chinese surname. To be offended by this would be to admit that you are ethnically intolerant, and nobody wants to be branded as that. A surprisingly safe bet.

3) Working girl
With this term, you are acknowledging that being a prostitute is a tough job that requires extreme mental fortitude as well as physical endurance. Quite respectful.

Ford Escort2) Escort
Escort is a pretty nice term to use, as it was derived from the old English term "Ford Escort," which means a comfortable yet affordable car that gets you where you're going and can be counted on to last well upwards of 100,000 miles. Compared to something like "nasty, disease-ridden weather-beaten chickenhead" or "village Pinto," this one sounds pretty good.

1) Mom
Because really, it would be disrespectful to refer to your mother by any of those other terms. Shame on you! (Yes, I had to go there.)

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