One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A whore, a prostitute; a strumpet, a slut.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in John Wyclif (d. 1384), theologian, philosopher, and religious reformer. Originally from Anglo-Norman putaigne, puteine, Anglo-Norman and Middle French putain, putein, Middle French putayne, putaine, variant (originally the oblique case form) of pute. In later use reborrowed from French putain. Compare Old Occitan putan, Catalan putana, Spanish putana, Italian puttana.
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