English honorifics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

In the English language, an English honorific is a title prefixing a person's name, e.g.: Miss, Ms, Mr, Sir, Mrs, Dr, Lady or Lord.[citation needed] They are not titles or positions that can appear without the person's name,[citation needed] as in the President or the Earl.

There are many forms of honorifics that are used when addressing the members of the nobility, clergy, or royalty, mostly in countries that are monarchies.[citation needed] These include "Your Majesty" and "Your Highness", which are often used when speaking with royalty, or "My lord/lady" to address a peer other than a Duke, who is referred to as "Your Grace".[citation needed]

Some honorifics distinguish the sex of the person being referred to. Some titles of the nobility and of professional honorifics, such as Doctor or General, are not gender specific because they were traditionally male-only professions,[citation needed] and women have simply adopted the associated titles.[citation needed]

Common titles[edit]

  • Mr: (Mister) for men, regardless of marital status.
  • Master: for young men and boys, especially in the UK.
  • Ms: (/ˈmɪz/ or /mɨz/) for women, regardless of marital status.
  • Miss: usually for unmarried women, though also used by married female entertainers (e.g. actresses).[citation needed]
  • Mrs: (/ˈmɪsɨz/ or /ˈmɪsɨs/) for married women.
  • Mx: (Mix) is a commonly accepted[1] gender-neutral honorific.[2][3][4]

Formal titles[edit]

  • Sir: for men, formally if they have a British knighthood or if they are a baronet, or generally as a term of general respect or flattery. Equivalent to "Madam" (see below). Also used in some secondary schools ; most tend not to call male teachers "Mr ___", but rather "Sir".
  • Madam or Ma'am (/ˈmæm/ in General American and either /ˈmam/, /ˈmɑːm/, or /ˈməm/ in Received Pronunciation.[5]): for women, a term of general respect or flattery. Equivalent to "Sir" (see above).
    • Both "Sir", "Madam", and "Ma'am" are commonly used by workers performing a service for the beneficiary of the service, e.g. "May I take your coat, Ma'am?"
  • Dame: for women who have been honored with a British knighthood in their own right. Women married to knighted individuals, but not knighted in their own right, are commonly referred to as "Lady."
  • Lord: for male viscounts, earls, and marquesses, as well as some of their children. (Style: Lordship or My Lord)
  • Lady: for female viscounts, earls, and marquesses. (Style: Your Ladyship or My Lady)

Dr/Professor Titles[edit]

  • Dr: (Doctor) for a person who has an academic research degree, such as Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). In the United States it applies to those who have obtained a first professional degree, such as the Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS),Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Doctor of Optometry (OD), Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). In Commonwealth countries, medical practitioners Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS or MBChB), dentists Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), use the honorific 'Dr', though specialists are often addressed as 'Mr' or 'Miss' in the UK and in the southern states of Australia (NSW, Victoria) and in New Zealand. Unlike in the US, Doctor of Medicine (MD) in Commonwealth countries is a higher research degree obtained after first qualifying for a medical degree (MBBS).
  • Prof.: (Professor) for a person in a Commonwealth country who holds the academic rank of professor in a university. Such rank is above that of "lecturer", the basic rank of a tenured or tenure-track academician. In the United States "professor" is used as a title for any tenured or tenure-track academician. Professor in a Commonwealth country is roughly equivalent to a chaired professor in the United States. Professors may or may not have doctoral degrees, but almost always do. Professor is nevertheless considered a senior title to "doctor".

Religious organizational titles[edit]

  • Br: (Brother) for men generally in some religious organizations; in the Catholic Church and Eastern churches, for male members of religious orders or communities, who are not Priests.
  • Sr: (Sister) Nun or other religious sister in the Catholic Church; for women generally in some religious organizations, such as the Mormons. Sometimes informally abbreviated as 'Sis'.
  • Fr: (Father) for priests in Catholic and Eastern Christianity, as well as some Anglican or Episcopalian groups; Generally equivalent to 'Reverend' (see below).
  • Rev.: (Reverend) used generally for members of the Christian clergy regardless of affiliation, but especially in Catholic denominations. Equivalent to 'Father' (see above).
  • Pr: (Pastor) used generally for members of the Christian clergy regardless of affiliation, but especially in Protestant denominations. Equivalent to 'Reverend' (see above).
  • Elder: (Elder) used generally for male missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and for members of the adult leadership known as the general authorities. Although most all male adults of the LDS church are Elders, the title is reserved for the prior mentioned groups.[6]

Uncommon and historical titles[edit]

  • Adv. or Counsellor: (Advocate) for Lawyers and Advocates in Scotland; in South Africa only the former is used. In the United Kingdom, "Cllr." can be used for an elected local councillor, a political position.

See also[edit]