Origin of brothelME, wretched person from Old English brothen, past participle of broethan, to waste away, go to ruin; confused with bordel
Origin of brothelShort for brothel-house from Middle English brothel prostitute from brothen past participle of brethen to go to ruin from Old English brēothan to decay
From Middle English brothel, brodel, brodelle, brethel (“a wretch, a depraved man or woman”) (compare also Middle English bretheling (“a wretch”)), apparently from an unrecorded Old English *brēoþel (“degenerative, corruptive”), related to Old English ābrēoþan (“to unsettle, degrade, ruin, frustrate, degenerate, deteriorate, fall away”); Old English ābroþen (“degenerate, base, trifling”); both ultimately from Proto-Germanic *breuþaną (“to fall apart”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰer- (“to carve, cut, split, rub”).
- A house of prostitution.
An abbreviation of ‘brothel-house’, ultimately from Old English ābrēoþan (“to degrade, deteriorate”), see above.