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On Russian SE we had a discussion about some Russian intentional misspelling one can encounter in Internet. As an example of such phenomena in English I've pointed to the following example: using "hoe" instead of "whore".

An native English speaker first denied this but ironically provided a link to an article where following is written:

ho (also hoe) informal, derogatory "A prostitute"; 1960s representing a dialect pronunciation of whore.

Other user stated though:

Ho(e) originated as a variant of whore (just like mo’ is a variant of more), but their meanings have diverged somewhat. It’s not uncommon slang to call your girlfriend your ‘ho’ (and just mean ‘girlfriend’), but if you call her your whore, you are actually saying she’s a prostitute.

My question would be: is it so? Up to this day I was sure that it's an internet slang and nothing more.

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    It's a hard question to answer definitively—because the meaning of "ho/hoe" is affected by its cultural associations. Specifically, many Americans of European ethnicity associate the term with caricatures of African American culture. So, for example, a white kid at a mostly white suburban high school might refer to his or her white girlfriend as a "ho" and automatically embed a jokey faux-street/faux-black element in the characterization. But a person (of any race) who simply habitually pronounces the word "whore" as "ho" has no such intention to create ironic distance between the two words. – Sven Yargs Sep 25 '19 at 19:45
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    meaning depends on what is meant, as well as the context-free sense of the word. so it could have neutral connotation in some contexts; but if you have to ask, you probably shouldn't be using the term! – user31341 Sep 25 '19 at 23:17
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I don’t think the term has a neutral connotation:

Ho or hoe noun, (plural hos, hoes, ho's). Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.

1)a sexually promiscuous woman.

2)a prostitute; whore.

3) a woman.

Etymology:

First recorded in 1965–70; dialectal or Black English pronunciation of whore

(Dictionary.com)

Green’s Dictionary of Slang has a couple of entries about the “neutral” meanings of ho:

1) woman

generic term describing any woman (ostensibly neutral, but the undertones of its ety still make it controversial).

2) girlfriend:

1997 [US] Da Bomb Summer Supplement 8: Ho [...] 2. (n.) (Offensive, derog.) Girlfriend.

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Additional to user067531's excellent answer:

In English people will often use derogatory words (or variants of those words) in ways that would typically be viewed as hurtful, but given the context in which they're used they become almost an in-joke.

This is often accompanied by adding the word my in front of the word, which makes it more clear that it's a term of endearment.

Calling your girlfriend my ho is probably not something you'd say in front of her father. Nor would you introduce her to your boss as my bitch.

I don't feel comfortable reproducing the various usages here, but the n-word has similar usage among the African American community.

There have been many calls to stop these practices as they normalize the degradation of others. This is especially true of the n-word.

And, because the examples you've cited (and I've added to) are particularly identified with the African American community, their usage by a non-member will often be perceived as cultural appropriation at best, or flagrant racism at worst.

Tread lightly.

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