See also: dirne



From Middle High German dierne (girl; servant), from Old High German diorna, thiorna (girl; servant), from Proto-Germanic *þewernǭ, *þewernō (maid, servant girl), from Proto-Indo-European *tekw- (to run, flow). The sense “prostitute” developed from the use for a “girl from the lower classes”. It is first attested in the 15th century.


  • IPA(key): /ˈdɪrnə/, [ˈdɪʁnə], [ˈdɪɐ̯nə], [ˈdɪrnə]
  • (file)


Dirne f (genitive Dirne, plural Dirnen)

  1. (derogatory, dated, also biblical) whore (prostitute or sexually unreserved woman)
    Synonyms: Buhldirne, Hure, Lustdirne, Nutte; see also Thesaurus:Prostitutierte
    Hyponyms: Edeldirne, Straßendirne
    • 1808, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “Vorspiel auf dem Theater”, in Faust: Der Tragödie erster Teil [Faust, Part One]‎[1]:
      Der, nach dem Schauspiel, hofft ein Kartenspiel, / Der eine wilde Nacht an einer Dirne Busen.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
  2. (archaic or dialectal) girl; lass

Usage notesEdit

  • The older sense “girl” is now chiefly restricted to dialectal cognate forms. Northern German Deern and Bavarian Dirndl are widely understood, though not commonly used outside of their traditional areas.


Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit