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The oldest profession

Posted by Antiquary on May 28, 2006

In Reply to: The oldest profession posted by Paul B Zumaran on May 28, 2006

: I'd like to know the origin of the slightly chauvinist saying "prostitution is the oldest profession in the world". I understand this is a hard one to trace back for it appears in exactly this phrasing in many different languages and therefore it may not have originated in English.

Kipling used the phrase, or a close variant on it, in his "In Black and White" : 'Lalun is a member of the most ancient profession in the world'. It would certainly be interesting if anything earlier could be found, in whatever language.