Nymphes and their Other Names

by Victoria Dailey

During the course of my research into women and prostitution in Paris after the French Revolution, I became aware that a large number of synonyms for “prostituée” existed and that not only were they colorful, often bawdy and sometimes charming, but also, their number was vast. I began to compile a list of such words, and when it reached four hundred, I knew I had to write about what I realized was the central role prostitution played in 19th century Paris. How and why a society organized itself around satisfying male sexual desire became the focus of my investigation, and some answers will be found in Pavement Nymphs and Roadside Flowers in the Spring 2019 issue of The Book Collector.

Click the link to view the list of 400 16th - 19th Century French words for Prostitute: VIEW LIST

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