Glossary of Terms


This list has been created from Renting Lacy: A Story of America’s Prostituted Children by Linda Smith. Order your copy today!

Bottom: One girl appointed by the pimp to oversee the several other girls controlled. She is to report any violation of rules, and sometimes help punish.

One girl, among several controlled by a single pimp, appointed by him to supervise the others, report rule violations, and sometimes even helps inflict punishment on them.

Branding: A tatoo or carving on a victim to display ownership.

Circuit (or Track): A set area known for prostitution activity. This can be a local term; the area around a group of strip clubs and pornography stores, or a particular stretch of a street. It can be a series of cities among which prostituted people are moved.

Daddy: What Pimps require their victims to call them.

Date: The exchange or activity of prostitution. A victim is said to be “with a date” or “dating”.

Family or Folks: A group of people under the control of one pimp; he plays the role of father or ‘daddy’. This idea can be extremely complicated psychologically for a victim who has never had a supportive family.

Finesse Pimp: One who prides himself in controlling others primarily through psychological manipulation. Even in such cases, however, the threat of violence is always present.

John (or Buyer): A person paying another for sexual gratification, control, and/or domination. The term “john” comes from the alias often used by customers in order to remain anonymous. The john drives the entire system. Without the buyer, there would not be a seller and there would not be a victim.

Madam: An older woman who managers a brothel. The madam has usually been prostituted in her earlier years; she may be a pimp herself, or perhaps a career criminal.

Seasoning: A combination of psychological manipulation; intimidation, gang rape, sodomy, beating, deprivation of food or sleep, isolation from family, friends and other sources of support, and threatening of holding hostage of a victim’s children. Seasoning is designed to totally break down a victim’s resistance and ensure she will do anything she is told.

Stable: A group of victims under the control of a single pimp. The choice of a farming word is worse than ironic, in that pimps indeed treat their victims like animals.

The Game: the subculture of prostitution. “The game” functions as a fully formed subculture complete with established rules, hierarchy, and language. People who do not actively participate in “the game” are viewed as not understanding how it works nor understanding the people involved in it.

The Life: The experience of being used as a victim in prostitution

Trafficker/Pimp: Anyone who receives money or something of value for the sexual exploitation of another person.

Trick: The act of prostitution; also the person buying it. A victim is said to be “turning a trick” or “with a trick”.

Turn out: To be forced into prostitution; also a person newly involved in prostitution.