The term john may have originated from the frequent customer practice of giving one's name as "John", a common name in English-speaking countries, in an effort to maintain anonymity. is not literally a prostitute; Holden feels that his job writing B-movie screenplays is morally debasing.

Women: whore, hooker, call girl, business girl (B-girl), streetwalker, trollop, strumpet, courtesan, escort, lady of the evening, working girl, doxy, scarlet woman, harlot, drab Men: Rent boy, male escort, gigolo, lad model, gent of the night, sporting boy, weeping willy Female clients: janes, either as money, goods, services, or some other benefit agreed upon by the transacting parties.

Prostitution is sometimes described as commercial sex or hooking.

More formally, one who is said to practice procuring is a procurer, or procuress.

Female clients of prostitutes are sometimes referred to as janes or sugar mamas.

It is sometimes referred to euphemistically as "the world's oldest profession" in the English-speaking world. Brothels are establishments specifically dedicated to prostitution.

In escort prostitution, the act may take place at the client's residence or hotel room (referred to as out-call), or at the escort's residence or a hotel room rented for the occasion by the escort (in-call). Although the majority of prostitutes are female and have male clients, a prostitute can be, and have clients, of any gender or sexual orientation.

Depending on the jurisdiction, prostitution law may deem commercial sex to be legal or illegal.

A person who works in this field is called a prostitute, and is a type of sex worker.

There are about 42 million prostitutes in the world, living all over the world (though most of Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa lacks data, studied countries in that large region rank as top sex tourism destinations).

Another explanation is that prostituta is a composition of pro and statuere (to cause to stand, to station, place erect).

A literal translation therefore is: "to put up front for sale" or "to place forward".