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We're used to the word "whore" in reference to a prostitute or (less commonly) as a verb meaning to prostitute oneself. Looking in a few online dictionaries, this is the first and only meaning.

However, I hear the word used more liberally these days. An "attention whore" is someone who desperately craves attention, which seems quite different from selling sex for money. Last weekend I was at a party and entertaining a 6-month old while the mom socialized. Someone said, "You are such a baby whore."

The last two uses seem to imply that people now consider the verb "to whore" as "to hoard". Is this common usage now?

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Another popular usage that's popped up in gaming communities is "achievement whore". Somebody who will spend an absurd amount of time to achieve certain predefined, extra tasks in a game in order to get an "achievement" attached to their account. –  emragins Sep 21 '11 at 15:16
    
@emragins: I had both "the undying" and "the immortal" from Nax! Oh, and a bear mount from Zul'Aman! –  Fixee Sep 21 '11 at 17:14

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

An attention whore is

(Internet, slang, derogatory) Someone who craves attention and is not above soliciting it via deliberately meaningless or provocative tactics.

This is not related to a hoard, or the act of hoarding ("To amass, usually for one's personal collection"), nor do the two terms share a root.

However, it's easy to see how attention whore or the novel term baby whore come from the word whore. The key parts of the definition:

(pejorative) A person who is considered to be sexually promiscuous.
A person who is unscrupulous, especially one who compromises their principles for gain.

An attention whore is indiscriminate about the source of the attention, and perhaps is a sellout who doesn't care how they draw the eye.

In your example, when someone is called a baby whore, it is a mildly derogatory statement, fairly nonsensical, but a joking put-down perhaps suggesting that one must like all babies. Using whore or slut in this way often brings in the idea of not being choosy when one should be (this is probably why it made you think of the idea of hoarding) or of liking something when a "good" person would not, particularly if it were an obligation.

Such derogatory words for women are often used this way, either as a genuine pejorative (attention whore is not so friendly in many uses), or with a humorous or satirical intent. Consider one friend to another: Hey, code bitch, get back to work. or, What a camera slut! He's in photos with everyone.

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When I google "quit whoring all the" I get 60 hits; one example: "quit whoring all the cookies and beer!" Are these people just conflating "whore" and "hoard" then? –  Fixee Sep 20 '11 at 17:35
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@Fixee: Possibly. That phrase doesn't make much sense to me, but maybe in the context it had meaning. Or maybe it was an in-joke. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Sep 20 '11 at 20:49
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I would assume that was just someone mistaking the word "whore" for "hoard" (possibly without realizing they are actually two separate words; happens all the time). –  jhocking Sep 20 '11 at 21:14

This usage has nothing to do with hoarding.

An "attention whore" is someone who will do anything to get attention. The connection to prostitution is that the "attention whore" will do anything (well, probably not have sex, but some of them might) for people to pay attention to them, the "regular" whore will do anything (usually sex with strangers) for money.

The "baby whore" term is a little less clear, I suppose it refers to someone who will do anything to play with a baby.

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So you're saying that a "X whore" will do anything to obtain X, where X defaults to "money" if omitted. –  Fixee Sep 20 '11 at 17:01
    
@Fixee: That's how the pattern usually works. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Sep 20 '11 at 17:07
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@Fixee: See the second answer on this question for a definition of rep whore. –  FumbleFingers Sep 20 '11 at 21:06

No it is not. An attention whore doesn't store up attention, and hopefully you don't store up babies. It means you will do anything to attract attention/babies.

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Jeff: I don't take "hoard" to mean "to store up"; more like "to collect for oneself and refuse to share". Imagine a 3 yr old hoarding all the blocks. Someone hoarding attention might step to the front of a group and not let anyone else talk, for example. –  Fixee Sep 20 '11 at 17:03
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The primary word "hoard", though, implies that there is a cache/stash involved. The secondary meaning you mention ("collect for oneself and refuse to share") also implies it ("collect"). –  JeffSahol Sep 20 '11 at 17:33

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