"Dress like whores"

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sat Jul 20 18:04:54 UTC 2002

In a message dated 07/17/2002 1:23:27 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
Bapopik at AOL.COM writes:

>    Greetings from Kiev...There's a Ukrainian boxer who wants to challenge
> Lennox Lewis, so maybe Ukrainian girls really can knock you out...A fellow
> traveler complained that they all dress like whores.

In a message dated 07/17/2002 2:32:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
hstahlke at WORLDNET.ATT.NET writes:

> I was in Vilnius a couple weeks ago, and I heard Lithuanian women at the
>  conference complaining that their local fashion choices seemed to be to
>  dress like Soviet-era grandmothers or like whores.

I am surprised that a philologist of Barry Popik's experience would let the
phrase "dress like whores" pass without comment.

Prostitution is, among other things, a business, and as a business it
requires advertising.  Protitutes can be divided into two classes thusly:
1)  the so-called "streetwalkers" who do their own advertising
2)  the ones (e.g. crib whores and call girls) who depend on management to
perform advertising

A streetwalker does not wear garish makeup and revealing clothes because they
are sexy per se.  Rather she wears whatever the local convention is for her
to wear, since her clothing/makeup/demeanor etc. are for recognition.
Consider the following 3,000-year-old account

"[she] covered herself with her veil, and wrapped herselof, and sat in the
entrance of Enaim [i.e. at a crossroads]...When Judah saw her, he thought her
to be a harlot; for she had covered her face."

For a more modern example, in Moscow circa 1970 whores displayed themselves
by writing their price on the soles of their shoes.

If the women in an area dressed "like whores", then the streetwalker-type
whores would dress differently, so as to "stand out in the crowd" (i.e. be

The above is an example of non-verbal communication.

For example, it is only convention that jackboots and microskirt, as worn by
Julia Roberts in the movie "Pretty Woman", denotes a streetwalker.  Were it
not for convention, she could be mistaken for a woman who repairs water mains
for the Municipal Utility District, or althernatively for someone about to go
fly fishing.

It is interesting that type 2) whores do not dress "like whores".  A gril in
a "house" dresses in whatever the local style for house whores is, or in the
low-price-due-to-volume establishments, for convenience in undressing.  Eliot
Ness, describing a raid on a speakeasy/brothel, commented that the
prostitutes "wore the komonos of their profession".  Call girls, oddly,
frequently make a point of NOT dressing like whores, because they need to
travel to their customers WITHOUT attracting the attention of police officers
and hotel detectives.

(The book "Mayflower Madam" contains a lengthy discussion of how the call
girls dressed---in this case, with taste, since this was a high-class

An incidental note: "house" as in "house of prostitution" or "disorderly
house" is a misnomer, since there have existed mobile whorehouses that
operate out of the backs of trucks.

As for "laying/lying policeman", when the New York Police Department decided
to put the Mayflower Madam out of business, they had three police officers
pose as customers so as to be able to testify in court as the offenses
observed.  One of the three, uh, "blew" it by actually having sex with the
call girl.  He was, quite literally, a "laying policeman."

>     My tour guide is a 20-year old college student (mathematics).  I asked
> about slang, and, as I sometimes get as a response, there is "no slang" in
> the Ukraine.  For example, outside this hotel is the bear with the Olympic
> belt (a symbol of the 1980 Olympics).  I asked if the bear had a name.
> " he said.

If memory serves, the 1980 Olympic bear was named "Misha".

          - James A. Landau
            systems engineer and sometimes communications engineer

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