Goodman was once a polite term of address, used where Mister (Mr.) would be used today. A man addressed by this title was, however, of a lesser social rank than a man addressed as Mister. Compare Goodwife.
The terms were used in England and Puritan New England. They are perhaps best known today as the forms of address used in Arthur Miller's historical fiction The Crucible, and in Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Young Goodman Brown".
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