This is an interesting Greek Bible study on whores, whoremongers, harlots, fornicators, fornication, etc.
* The New Testament Greek word for harlot and whore is porne (πόρνη).
* The New Testment Greek word fornicator and whoremonger is pornos (πόρνος)
* The New Testament Greek word for fornication is porneia (πορνεία).
Thayer defines πορνεία as “illicit sexual intercourse” of any kind, including “adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc… sexual intercourse with close relatives… sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman…”
A harlot or whore is one who engages in fornication – illicit sex or sex outside of a proper marriage. Whether she charges or not does not matter. Thayer defines πόρνη “any woman indulging in unlawful sexual intercourse, whether for gain or for lust.”
A fornicator (πόρνος) means a male prostitute or a whoremonger. The word is translated as both fornicator and whoremonger in the New Testament. Thayer defines πόρνος as “a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse.” This means that a male prostitute is a whoremonger but so is any male who engages in fornication or adultery.
The word πόρνος is the male counterpart of πόρνη. The difference between a harlot and a fornicator, in the Greek, is that harlot is the feminine variation of the word and fornicator is the masculine variation of the word. But a fornicator or whoremonger (male) and a harlot or whore (female) both engage in fornication – sex outside of marriage which they may or may not charge for in prostitution.
It would not be proper or true to the Greek New Testament to call a female who engages in fornication a “fornicator” because the word for her is “whore” or “harlot.” The word “fornicator” in the New Testament refers to a male whoremonger.
Even in the English language a whore is a woman who engages in fornication.
“WHORE, v.i. [supra.] To have unlawful sexual commerce; to practice lewdness.
WHORE, v.t. To corrupt by lewd intercourse.”An American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828
And lewdness is defined as, “The unlawful indulgence of lust; fornication, or adultery.” An American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828
Evidently, a whore is a woman who engages in any fornication or adultery, whether she charges or not. Fornication and adultery is whorish behavior with or without price tag.
In short, πόρνη (harlot, whore) is any sexually immoral woman, πόρνος (fornicator, whoremonger) is any sexually immoral man, and πορνεία (fornication) is any sexually immoral behavior.