So That’s Why They're Called Hookers!

By Karen Harris
Workers in the world's oldest profession have been called many things, but why hookers? Source: (history.com)

There are a surprising number of nicknames for the oldest profession in the world---call girls, streetwalkers, strumpets, ladies of the night---but the term you've probably heard the most is "hooker." Unlike other terms, however, it is not easy to see how the euphemism connects to the activity. How exactly does sex work relate to hooks? Whatever it is, it sounds painful. On the contrary, however, it all goes back to a Civil War major, a rowdy New York seaport, and medieval pickpockets.