Posted by ESC on May 28, 2006
In Reply to: The oldest profession posted by antiquary 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.
I am guessing that Kipling wasn't the first to use the phrase. Haven't found an earlier use though. Looking.