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What is the oldest profession?

Posted by Lewis on May 30, 2006

In Reply to: The oldest profession posted by ESC 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.

there is considerable discussion about the oldest profession :
architects/designers claim that as the universe was created, they are the oldest profession
lawyers claim that as the universe had to obey laws to bring order out of chaos, they are the oldest profession (hence 'soliciting' BTW)
the oldest profession is politics - how else was there so much chaos in the first place?