place where people may come to engage in sexual activity with a prostitute
(Redirected from Brothel)

A brothel, also known as a bordello or whorehouse, is an establishment specifically dedicated to prostitution, providing the prostitutes a place to meet and to have sex with the clients. In some places, brothels are legal, and in many countries, places such as massage parlor are allowed to function as brothels, with varying degrees of regulation and repression. Depending on zoning, brothels may be confined to special red-light districts or 'tolerance zones'.

Brothel (J. Beuckelaer, 1562)
18th century illustration of Sally Salisbury stabbing a client in a brothel.


  • Prisons are built with stones of law; brothels with bricks of religion.
    • William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790–1793), Line 21
  • This is virgin territory out here for whorehouses.
    • Al Capone Referring to suburban Chicago, as quoted in The Bootleggers and Their Era (1961) by Kenneth Alsop
  • If they don't like the brothels, they needn't go to them.
  • No-one was ever made wretched in a brothel.
  • So long as we were in a room in a brothel, we belonged to our fantasies, but once having exposed them, we're now tied up with human beings, tied to you and forced to go on with this adventure according to the laws of visibility.
  • In Hollywood, a starlet is the name for any woman under thirty who is not actively employed in a brothel.
    • Ben Hecht, quoted in: John Robert Colombo (1979) Colombo's Hollywood: wit and wisdom of the moviemakers, p. 150
  • In regard to this principle, that all men are born free and equal, if there is an animal on earth to which it does not apply—that is not born free, it is man—he is born in a state of the most abject want, and in a state of perfect helplessness and ignorance, which is the foundation of the connubial tie…. Who should say that all the soil in the world is equally rich, the first rate land in Kentucky and the Highlands of Scotland because the superficial content of the acre is the same, would be just as right as he who should maintain the absolute equality of man in virtue of his birth. The ricketty and scrofulous little wretch who first sees the light in a work-house, or in a brothel, and who feels the effects of alcohol before the effects of vital air, is not equal in any respect to the ruddy offspring of the honest yeoman; nay, I will go further, and say that a prince, provided he is no better born than royal blood will make him, is not equal to the healthy son of a peasant.
    • John Randolph of Roanoke, remarks in the Senate, Register of Debates, vol. 2, March 2, 1826, col. 126.
  • Vente, gresle, gelle, j'ay mon pain cuit.
    Ie suis paillart, la paillarde me suit.
    Lequel vault mieulx? Chascun bien s'entresuit.
    L'ung vault l'autre; c'est a mau rat mau chat.
    Ordure amons, ordure nous assuit;
    Nous deffuyons onneur, il nous deffuit,
    En ce bordeau ou tenons nostre estat.
    • Through wind, hail or frost my living's made.
      I am a lecher, and she's a lecher with me.
      Which one of us is better? We're both alike:
      The one as worthy as the other. Bad rat, bad cat.
      We both love filth, and filth pursues us;
      We flee from honor, honor flees from us,
      In this brothel where we ply our trade.
    • François Villon Le Grand Testament (The Great Testament) (1461) Line 1621; "Ballade de la Grosse Margot (Ballade for Fat Margot)".
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