The gigolo is expected to provide companionship, to serve as a consistent escort with good manners and social skills, and often to serve as a dancing partner as required by the woman in exchange for the support. Many gifts such as expensive clothing and an automobile to drive may be lavished upon him. The relationship may include sexual services as well, when he also would be referred to as a "kept man".
The word gigolo may be traced to a first usage in English as a neologism during the 1920s as a back-formation from a French word, gigolette, a woman hired as a dancing partner. Both gigolo and gigolette were first recorded in French in the middle part of the nineteenth century, in reference to dance club denizens in Montmartre who were paid to dance with, and sometimes have sex with, unaccompanied male visitors. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, particularly after the scandalous murder case known in Paris as the Pranzini Affair, the term gigolo took on connotations of the exotic, foreign male whose company and affections could be purchased by well-to-do French women.
- "Definition of gigolo". Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- "A man who is kept by a woman"., Word Reference, accessed February 14, 2013.
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