Purple Nebula (gwoman) wrote in word_ancestry,
Purple Nebula

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whore, n. [hohr, hōr]
-Today's word can be traced all the way back to the prehistoric Indo-European root ka- 'like, desire.' Interestingly, this word seems to have split into several different meanings. For the first, the word evolved into a younger Indo-European root karo which in turn led to Latin carus 'dear' and Old Irish cara 'friend.' From this we get English caress, charity, and cherish, all of which have (or can have) very wholesome and endearing definitions. The second path created another, later Indo-European root, kamo, which eventually became Sanskrit kamah 'love' that we are all familiar with from the Kamasutra. Finally, at least for this discussion, the third route is the one in which today's word developed. From prehistoric Indo-European ka came proto-Germanic khoraz/horaz, the feminine form of which was khoron/horon. Eventually this became Middle Dutch hoere, Old High German huora, Old Norse hora, Gothic hors, and Old English hore. As a side note, except for the Old English word which meant 'whore, prostitute, harlot,' the other cognates had the definition of an adulteress. Old English hore was in use prior to 1100 C.E. and continued on into Middle English. It was not until 1535 that there is record of the spelling changing to whore, and as of yet there is not much evidence as to why the change occurred.
Tags: whore
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