Warning: informal language
A male horseshoe crab (the small one) hitching a ride on the female.
Image via The Girl by the Sea
In Thai, pimps are referred to as "horseshoe crabs", which in Thai is mɛŋ.daa (แมงดา).
Why are pimps called "horseshoe crab"?
The answer is simple: pimps (and hoes) behave like horseshoe crabs.
I am not familiar with the animal itself. So, I did some research on the internet, and this is what I found:
Male horseshoe crabs are quite different from their female counterparts. In particular, the males are typically smaller than the females. They have a small hook like claw which is used to attach to a female's shell in order to be pulled to shore; sometimes multiple males will hang on to a female. (The Girl by the Sea) In addition, since the males are smaller in size, they are weaker. So, the females find food for them throughout the males' lives. The males will not survive if they fall off of the females' backs. (source) Thus, male horseshoe crabs are always dependent on the females.
This is very similar to the relationship between a pimp and his prostitute. In particular, the male horseshoe crab is like a pimp, and the female a prostitute. The pimp depends on his ho. Whatever money she receives from her customers, she gives it to him. One of the differences that I can see is that a pimp can have many prostitutes, whereas a male horseshoe crab can only hang on to one female. On the contrary, a ho usually just has one pimp, whereas a female horseshoe crab can have multiple males on her back.
Or do I have this wrong? Can a hooker have more than one pimp? If you are a pimp or a ho, please leave a reply.
Horseshoe crabs are arthropods belonging to the family Limulidae, order Xiphosurida.
Click on the video below to learn more about the animal. Who knows, maybe you will see some "pimpin'" action.
Many thanks to Wayan's kaos for asking this question.