New answers tagged euphemisms
Since it's not come up yet, you might consider the, relatively coy expression "Seamstress" "She was working as a seamstress, if you know what I mean."
Along with the other fine examples here: Working Girl Woman of Easy Virtue
The most commonly used polite terms in common use are escort and courtesan. A variety of other eufemisms exist but usually carry an automatic negative connotation. Here's a summary of synonyms as listed by @HotLicks: call girl, whore, hooker, working girl, lady of the evening, streetwalker, member of the oldest profession, moll, fille de joie, escort, ...
the only skills I could make use of is that with my body [...] allowing them to drown in pleasure and forget the world which puts them down. If the protagonist uses her body as an instrument and firmly believes she is performing a service, that the sexual intercourse she sells is therapeutic then the heroine might need to coin a new term to reflect the ...
I suggest 'Lady of the night'. It's an alternative form of 'Woman of the night', which is in turn a corruption of 'Belle-de-nuit', which is a french euphemism for a prostitute as well as the french term for a type of flower. Belle-de-nuit literally means 'beauty of the night', which sounds reasonably affectionate or polite. Alternatively 'Courtesan'. ...
The space Western series Firefly featured a 26th century version of an escort or prostitute - a profession which enjoyed a high social standing. She was referred to as a Companion. As a metaphor, you could use this, with a bit of qualification if it's not obvious what is meant. A "companion for consideration" or a "professional companion" would be fairly ...
There is a common noun, 'Magdalene' that would do. 'Daughter of Venus' might say it more kindly, though.
The origin of the verb to prostitute is about exposing publicly and making stand. Around 100 years ago, the meaning was basically the same as today: someone who engages in (promiscuous/indiscriminate) sexual activity for some form of payment. Depending on the society and the time reactions vary. But aside from very specific historical/religious settings, and ...
Someone else took my favorite, demimondaine, so I'll plump for courtesan, which literally means a woman who attends a royal court, the distaff equivalent of courtier, but has come to mean extremely high-end prostitute.
Consider escort, in wiktionary's sense 7, “A sex worker who does not operate in a brothel, but with whom clients make appointments; a call girl or male equivalent”. Also consider demimonde, “A class of women kept by wealthy protectors; female prostitutes as a group”, and demimondaine, a woman of the demimonde. Also consider the phrase a professional.
How about call girl, see urban dictionary, http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=call+girl. It is the most polite word for prostitute I've ever heard. Another one is "lady of the evening," although this is a trifle coy. Radical prostitutes of both genders sometimes call themselves "sex workers", see http://swop-nyc.org/. I don't know of any way to ...
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