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  • whore[hɔr]
  • hustler['hʌslɚ]
  • doxy ['dɒksɪ]
  • strumpet[ˈstrʌmpɪt]
  • harlot['hɑrlət]
  • courtesan ['kɔrtɪzn]
  • trull[trʌl]
  • cocotte[kɒ'kɒt]
  • trollop['trɑləp]

what's the difference between them?

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closed as off-topic by Kris, Janus Bahs Jacquet, Mari-Lou A, mplungjan, Matt Эллен Feb 24 at 11:42

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  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – Kris, Janus Bahs Jacquet, Mari-Lou A, mplungjan, Matt Эллен
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3  
Interesting. Do the research and tell us. –  Kris Feb 24 at 6:35
    
I think most of these were used in the book A Confederacy of Dunces –  User Feb 24 at 6:36
    
A dictionary can tell you the difference between these. –  David M Feb 24 at 7:14
    
The first part of your question has to do with loan words, words borrowed from foreign languages. The second question is too vast and really, as Kriss suggested, if you're really interested look each word up in a dictionary. Don't expect others to do that for you. –  Mari-Lou A Feb 24 at 7:49
2  
You forgot the oldest (I presume, find out if I'm correct) word of the lot, prostitute! –  Mari-Lou A Feb 24 at 7:50

2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

You are right, there are a lot of words for the "word field" whore. In sexual matters an important word field, and whores play a role in almost any literature. You find stories of whores even in the Bible.

Every age, every language has contributed to the richness of words designating this kind of woman. And, of course, you need words for every level of language: negative/pejorative as strumpet (dated), neutral as prostitute, there is the French word courtesan - the favourite lady of the former French kings or nobles - or think of the Japanese word gheisa, a very educated lady that entertains men. Well, every word has its place where it is/was used, and every word is connected with a special epoch and social class and every word has its special nuance.

It would take too much time to discuss every single word here. But you can get an idea when you look up the words in etymonline.com - an etymological online dictionary that gives the meaning and explains the origin.

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Not an answer but too long for a comment.

About "cocotte":
According to the OED it's only applied to a Parisian "demimondaine". The name cocotte comes from the French, and it is another name for a "poule". Cocotte is a child's name for a hen in French.

Apart from "demimondaine" and "poule" that both come from the French but were used at some time in English according to the OED, you have forgotten "slut" in your list.

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