Discussion in 'WR Thesaurus' started by utrehou, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. utrehou Senior Member

    USA, English
    For a translation, I'm looking for a good synonym for a phrase that means "I fell into a life of prostitution" but spoken by a prostitute, euphemistically. Something like "I ended up a working girl" but without actually saying working girl or turning tricks or anything like that. But making it clear what she's talking about. The phrase literally means "I fell into the life." Something like that. Ideas?
  2. SoLaTiDoberman

    SoLaTiDoberman Senior Member

    How about using "hooker"?
  3. utrehou Senior Member

    USA, English
    No, because I don't want something that explicit. I'm looking for a more discreet way of saying it.
  4. SoLaTiDoberman

    SoLaTiDoberman Senior Member

    "I fell into the seamy side of life."

    "I fell into the life to turn a trick."

    "I got turned to turn tricks."
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  5. Cagey post mod

    English - US
    People do say "the life" meaning "prostitution", or, more precisely, "the way of life of a prostitute".

    If the context makes your intention clear, I think you could use that.

    Here is an example from the internet:
    Jan 11, 2011 – A victim of child trafficking, Sara started being groomed for prostitution, or “the life”, at 11 and sexually exploited at 13. ...
    Protecting Our Girls: The Reality of Prostitution And Trafficking ...

    You might use quotation marks, as they do here, to indicated that "the life" has a special meaning. (People don't always use quotation marks for this meaning, but they sometimes do.)
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  6. utrehou Senior Member

    USA, English
    Yes - that's interesting. I'd never heard it called that. I wonder if other rather isolated professions, such as circus performers or thieves, use the word similarly.
  7. Cagey post mod

    English - US
    They may, but its use for prostitution is fairly widely known. For instance, social workers use this phrase in articles about working with prostitutes or former prostitutes. I don't think you have to worry about being understood if your context confirms the meaning you intend.

    Here is an example in which an ex-prostitute uses the phrase to refer to her previous occupation:

    I didn't feel I was taking nearly so much shit when I was in the life as I do now that I am a teaching assistant. ... True, it carries a certain social status that's a lot higher than that of a prostitute, but you pay for .... The Prostitution papers: a candid dialogue (Kate Millett - 1975)
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  8. -mack-

    -mack- Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    American English
    I ended up a lady of the night?
    An escort?
    A call girl?
  9. ESOL Teacher Jana Member

    South Carolina
    English - USA
    What about... I ended up living the life of a "Pretty Woman."
  10. sapocancionero Member

    Buenos Aires,Argentina
    English England
    I ended up working the streets at night?
    I ended up leading a licentious life?
    I dispensed sexual favours in exchange for money?

  11. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    Night actors/actresses
  12. Cagey post mod

    English - US
    I am not certain I would understand this allusion. Do you have an example of this use in print or on the internet?

    This is not a usage I am familiar with, though other people may be. Also, I speak American English; perhaps English speakers from another part of the world use this phrase.
  13. Perseas Senior Member

    Athens - GR
    The content of the quote below is included in an article of the "BBC History magazine". It describes the no easy task Britain's statisticians were faced of classifying occupations in the British censuses, 1841-1911. I think it is related to this subject.
  14. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    I think "I started turning tricks" is pretty good for a low-to-middle level prostitute. Higher-class prostitutes might say "So I started doing sex work" or even "So I went pro." It does depend a bit on context.
  15. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    I joined (the ranks of)/became a member of the oldest profession ...
  16. estefanos Senior Member

    English - USA
    How about "I started working it?"

    Background: A few years ago, two acquaintances, both young women, were talking about a third woman. Their conversation went something like this:

    "You know that red haired girl?"
    "I think I know who you mean. Does she work it?"
    "Yep. That's her."

    The reason I think the phrase might be appropriate for your need is that both women seemed to think the phrase was opaque girl-speak. In other words, they were purposely saying something in a way that I, as a man, was not expected to understand.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012

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