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..."prostitute". Both words are suffixed by "-stitute", but obviously the meaning are quite different. "Substitute" is a conceptual, mental and intelligent activity, whilst "prostitute" is a profitable, body (mostly) and sensual activity. In my opinion, they don't have any reasonable relationships! So why do they spell so similar?

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closed as off-topic by sumelic, Rathony, Hellion, ab2, jimm101 Mar 17 at 2:05

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restitution, destitute, constitute, institute, prostitute, and substitute all derive ultimately from the same Latin verb. Prostitute: that which is put beforethat which is offered for salethose who sell themselves. Substitute: that which is put underthat which is put in place ofthose who replace others. – Peter Shor Jan 15 '14 at 22:50
Although your comment is far more clearer than the answer, I still feel your pointers jumping too fast. However with reading your comment and the answer I think I have got the idea. Thanks you both! – Earth Engine Jan 15 '14 at 23:59
Re: your title. I think that's something the substitute would prefer to keep private. ;-) – Jim Jan 16 '14 at 2:44
Like my latest edit? :) – Earth Engine Jan 16 '14 at 6:03
No, it's not a good edit. – Martin F Jan 16 '14 at 7:17
up vote 13 down vote accepted

They are related by situation. Both are derived from the Latin root word, to stand.

One stands before (exhibited), one stands under or next to (in place of).

prostitute: from Latin prostitutus, (expose publicly, as in for sale) from pro-: before + statuere: cause to stand, establish, to put, place.

Used from the 1520s, to offer to indiscriminate sexual intercourse (usually in exchange for money).

substitution: from Latin; put in place of another, place under or next to, present, submit, from sub "under" + statuere: set up, to stand with derivatives meaning place or thing that is standing

Used since late 14c., appointment of a subordinate or successor

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All those words derive from Latin statuere, which in turn derives from the word stare (to stand). This goes back to an Indo-European root *sta and so relates to words like German stunden.

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Related to German stehen/stand/gestanden, not related to stunden. – rogermue Mar 16 at 5:21
Can you cite references? – NVZ Mar 16 at 5:25

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