who ring


[hawr, hohr or, often, hoor]
a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse, usually for money; prostitute; harlot; strumpet.
verb (used without object), whored, whoring.
to act as a whore.
to consort with whores.
verb (used with object), whored, whoring.
Obsolete. to make a whore of; corrupt; debauch.

before 1100; Middle English, Old English hōre; cognate with German Hure, Old Norse hōra; akin to Gothic hors harlot, Latin cārus dear

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World English Dictionary
whore (hɔː)
1.  a prostitute or promiscuous woman: often a term of abuse
2.  to be or act as a prostitute
3.  (of a man) to have promiscuous sexual relations, esp with prostitutes
4.  (often foll by after) to seek that which is immoral, idolatrous, etc
[Old English hōre; related to Old Norse hōra, Old High German hvora, Latin carus dear]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

O.E. hore "prostitute, harlot," from P.Gmc. *khoraz (fem. *khoron-) "one who desires" (cf. O.N. hora "adulteress," Dan. hore, Swed. hora, Du. hoer, O.H.G. huora "whore;" in Goth. only in the masc. hors "adulterer, fornicator," also as a verb, horinon "commit adultery"), from PIE *qar-, a base that has
produced words in other languages for "lover" (cf. L. carus "dear;" O.Ir. cara "friend;" O.Pers. kama "desire;" Skt. Kama, name of the Hindu god of love, kamah "love, desire," the first element in Kama Sutra). Whore itself is perhaps a Gmc. euphemism for a word that has not survived. Some equivalent words in other languages also derive from sources not originally pejorative, e.g. perhaps O.Fr. pute, perhaps lit. "girl," fem. of V.L. *puttus (but perhaps rather from L. putidus "stinking;" see poontang). Welsh putain "whore" is from O.Fr., probably via M.E. Cf. also Bohemian nevestka, dim. of nevesta "bride." And Du. deern, Ger. dirne originally "girl, lass, wench." Among other languages, Gk. porne "prostitute" is related to pernemi "sell," with an original notion, probably of a female slave sold for prostitution; L. meretrix is lit. "one who earns wages" (source of Ir. mertrech, O.E. miltestre "whore, prostitute"). The vulgar Roman word was scortum, lit. "skin, hide." Another term was lupa, lit. "she-wolf" (preserved in Sp. loba, It. lupa, Fr. louve; see wolf). And of course there was prostituta, lit, "placed in front," thus "publicly exposed," from the fem. pp. of prostituere (see prostitute). Another O.N. term was skækja, which yielded Dan. skøge, Swed. sköka; probably from M.L.G. schoke, which is perhaps from schode "foreskin of a horse's penis," perhaps with the sense of "skin" (cf. L. scortum) or perhaps via an intermediary sense of "vagina." Sp. ramera, Port. ramiera are from fem. form of ramero "young bird of prey," lit. "little branch," from ramo "branch." Breton gast is cognate with Welsh gast "bitch," of uncertain origin. Cf. also strumpet, harlot. O.C.S. ljubodejica is from ljuby dejati "fornicate," a compound from ljuby "love" + dejati "put, perform." Rus. bljad "whore" derives from O.C.S. bladinica, from bladu "fornication." Pol. nierzadnica is lit. "disorderly woman." Skt. vecya is a derivation of veca- "house, dwelling," especially "house of ill-repute, brothel." Another term, pumccali, means lit. "one who runs after men." Avestan jahika is lit. "woman," but only of evil creatures; another term is kunairi, from pejorative prefix ku- + nairi "woman." The wh- spelling became current 16c. A general term of abuse from at least 13c. Whore of Babylon is from Rev. xvii:1, 5, etc.

"to have to do with whores," 1583, from whore (n.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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