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Thread: host, hostess?

  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
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    Default host, hostess?

    In asians countries, host or hostess means someone who provides some entertaining service or even sex for customers in karaoke bars or something. But does it have the same meaning in North America? I don't know why host or hostess came to mean that kind of people.

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    Michael84 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: host, hostess?

    not a teacher

    That is an interesting question you are asking.
    In Germany it is as follows:
    host: male form of "hostess". A host/hostess is usually understood as a person who takes care of the visitors of a booth at a fair. Depending on the type of the fair they may dress very sexy - of course - to attract more customers to the booth. Edit: "Take care" is the wrong expression: They dress up in special clothing and stand near the booth (usually not inside) to attract people to come inside the booth where the more serious or knowdlegeable represaentatives of the company are.
    However, if you book a hostess at an escort agency it may have the same connotation that you described, but not necessarily. Business men often just book them when their wife is absent for some reason.

    A (TV show) host: the presenter of a show. Strangely we call it "moderator" in Germany and many many people think this is an English word.

    P.S.: I googled if hostess in connection with fair has the same meaning in the US, but I couldn't come to a conclusion. Hopefully a native can help.

    Note that hostess is derived from the latin "hospes"
    Last edited by Michael84; 25-Jul-2011 at 12:53. Reason: edit

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    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: host, hostess?

    The most a "hostess" at an American restaurant is going to do is to seat you at a table.

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    Default Re: host, hostess?

    Additionally, if you have a party in your home, you are the host/hostess. You will see ettiquette advice that says things like "It's a nice gesture to bring your hostess a botle of wine" -- and I assure you, it's not for payment for certain "favors" you expect later.

    The word is devoid of sexual meaning in the US in mainstream society.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    Default Re: host, hostess?

    As mentioned above, host or hostess has absolutely no sexual connotation in AmE. In fact, the word is so far removed from sex that guide books for American tourists traveling to Japan and other Asian countries make specific mention that a "hostess club" is not a pleasant family bistro with a friendly greeter, but a place where men pay women for sex. Likewise, sometimes naive young non-native women accept "hostess" jobs in Japan or Korea thinking they'll be taking reservations and seating people in a restaurant only to find out they've signed on to be a prostitute.


    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I don't know why host or hostess came to mean that kind of people.
    Probably because it sounds more socially acceptable than "prostitute." Same reason, for example, a stripper might describe herself instead as an "exotic dancer", or a place that sells nothing but pornographic magazines calls itself an "adult book store."

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    Default Re: host, hostess?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    As mentioned above, host or hostess has absolutely no sexual connotation in AmE. In fact, the word is so far removed from sex that guide books for American tourists traveling to Japan and other Asian countries make specific mention that a "hostess club" is not a pleasant family bistro with a friendly greeter, but a place where men pay women for sex. Likewise, sometimes naive young non-native women accept "hostess" jobs in Japan or Korea thinking they'll be taking reservations and seating people in a restaurant only to find out they've signed on to be a prostitute.




    Probably because it sounds more socially acceptable than "prostitute." Same reason, for example, a stripper might describe herself instead as an "exotic dancer", or a place that sells nothing but pornographic magazines calls itself an "adult book store."

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: host, hostess?

    Just a small point- it's not so clear-cut what a hostess in a bar in parts of Asia is- Keannu puts it well:
    provides some entertaining service or even sex
    They're not simply prostitutes- some are, some aren't, some may opt in. The NGOese term when I lived in SE Asia was indirect sex worker I think.

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