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1590s, "belonging to another country," from Middle French exotique (16c.) and directly from Latin exoticus, from Greek exotikos "foreign," literally "from the outside," from exo "outside" (see exo-). Sense of "unusual, strange" first recorded in English 1620s, from notion of "alien, outlandish." In reference to strip-teasers and dancing girls, it is first attested by 1942, American English.
Exotic dancer in the nightclub trade means a girl who goes through a few motions while wearing as few clothes as the cops will allow in the city where she is working ... ["Life," May 5, 1947]As a noun from 1640s.