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pornography is a word the French (pornographie) took from the Greek (pornographos), where it meant “depicting prostitutes” (-graphos “write” or “draw”).

porno meant “prostitute” after originally meaning “sold” or “bought”, probably related to sex trade, and ultimately it had come all the way from the Proto Indo-European root *per– meaning “trafficking” or “selling”.

Other words from that root are price or prize. There is something to be said about such a clear link between sex trade, money, and people objectified as rewards.

Sources: [1] [2] [3]

Originally published in The blind mouse.

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