Title

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A title is a prefix or suffix added to someone's name in certain contexts. It may signify either veneration, an official position or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may be inserted before a last name (for example, Graf in German, Cardinal in Catholic usage or clerical titles such as Archbishop). Some titles are hereditary.

Types[edit]

Titles include:

Titles in English-speaking areas[edit]

The following titles are the default titles:

  • Mr - Adult male
  • Mrs - Adult females (usually for married females only)
  • Ms - Adult females
  • Miss - Formal title for unmarried females or for female children
  • Master - For male children. Young boys used to be addressed as "Master [first name]" – this was the standard form for servants to address their employer's minor children. It is also the courtesy title of the eldest son of a Scottish laird
  • Maid - When used as a title before a name, this is an old way to denote an unmarried woman, such as the character Maid Marian.
  • Madam (also madame)
  • M'lady

Auntie or Uncle may be used as titles by nieces and nephews or by children to adults who they know.

Other titles are used for various reasons, such as to show aristocratic status or one's role in government, a religious organization, or a branch of the military.

Legislative and executive titles[edit]

Some job titles of members of the legislature and executive are used as titles.

Aristocratic titles[edit]

  • Prince/Princess – From the Latin princeps, meaning "first person" or "first citizen." The title was originally used by Augustus at the establishment of the Roman Empire to avoid the political risk of assuming the title Rex ("King") in what was technically still a revolutionary republic. In modern times, the title is often given to the sons and daughters of ruling monarchs. Also a title of certain ruling monarchs under the Holy Roman Empire and its subsidiary territories until 1918 (still survives in Liechtenstein, and also in Monaco although that is elsewhere), and in Imperial Russia before 1917. The German title is Fürst ("first") is a translation of the Latin term; the equivalent Russian term is князь (knyaz).
  • Archduke/Archduchess – A title derived from the Greek Archon ("ruler; higher") and the Latin Dux("leader"). It was used most notably by the Habsburg Dynasty that ruled Austria and Hungary until 1918
  • Grand Duke/Grand Duchess. "Big; large" + Latin Dux (leader). A variant of "Archduke," used particularly in English translations Romanov Dynasty Russian titles. Also used in various Germanic territories until World War I. Still survives in Luxembourg.
  • Duke (the feminine equivalent is Duchess) from the Latin Dux, a military title used in the Roman Empire, especially in its early Byzantine period when it designated the military commander for a specific zone.
  • Marquis or Marquess (the feminine equivalent is Marquise or Marchioness) from the French marchis, literally "ruler of a border area," (from Old French marche meaning "border"); exact English translation is "March Lord," or "Lord of the March."
  • Count (the feminine equivalent is Countess) from the Latin comes meaning "companion." The word was used by the Roman Empire in its Byzantine period as an honorific with a meaning roughly equivalent to modern English "peer." It became the title of those who commanded field armies in the Empire, as opposed to "Dux" which commanded locally based forces.
  • Earl (used in the United Kingdom instead of Count, but the feminine equivalent is Countess) From the Germanic jarl, meaning "chieftain," the title was brought to the British Isles by the Anglo-Saxons and survives in use only there having been superseded in Scandinavia and the continent.
  • Viscount (feminine equivalent is Viscountess) From the Latin vicarius (Deputy; substitute. Hence "vicar" and prefix "vice-") appended to Latin comes. Literally: "Deputy Count"
  • Baron (the feminine equivalent is Baroness) From the Late Latin Baro, meaning "man, servant, soldier" the title originally designated the chief feudal tenant of a place, who was in vassalage to a greater lord.

In the United Kingdom, "Lord" and "Lady" are used as titles for members of the nobility. Unlike titles such as "Mr" and "Mrs", they are not used before first names except in certain circumstances, for example as courtesy titles for younger sons etc. of peers.

  • Lord from Old English hlāford, hlāfweard, meaning, literally, “bread-keeper," from hlāf (“bread”) + weard (“guardian, keeper”) and by extension husband, father, or chief. (From which comes modified titles such as First Sea Lord and Lord of the Manor.) The feminine equivalent is Lady from the related Old English hlǣfdīġe meaning, literally, “bread-kneader”, from hlāf (“bread”) + dīġe (“maid”), and by extension wife, daughter, or mistress of the house. (From which comes First Lady, the anachronistic Second Lady, etc.)
  • Emperor/Empress - From the Latin Imperator, meaning he/she who holds the authority to command (imperium)
  • King/Queen - Derived from Old Norse/Germanic words. The original meaning of the root of "king" apparently meant "leader of the family" or "descendant of the leader of the family," and the original meaning of "queen," "wife." By the time the words came into English they already meant "ruler."
  • Tsar/Tsarina (Tsaritsa) - Slavonic loan-word from Latin Caesar: the name of Julius Caesar taken by his heir Augustus and thereafter by Augustus' successors as Roman Emperor through the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Germanic loan-word for Caesar is Kaiser.
  • Leader – From Old English lædan, meaning "to guide", derived from Old Norse and Germanic. The head of state of North Korea is titled Great Leader. The de facto head of state of Iran is titled Supreme Leader.
Male version Female version Realm Adjective Latin Examples
Emperor Empress Empire Imperial

Imperial and Royal (Austria)
Imperator (Imperatrix) Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Ottoman Empire, Holy Roman Empire, Russia, First and Second French Empire, Austria, Mexican Empire, Empire of Brazil, German Empire (none left in Europe after 1918), Empress of India (ceased to be used after 1947 when India was granted independence from the British Empire), Japan (the only remaining enthroned emperor in the world).
King Queen Kingdom Royal Rex (Regina) Common in larger sovereign states
Viceroy Vicereine Viceroyalty Viceroyal Proconsul Historical: Spanish Empire (Peru, New Spain, Rio de la Plata, New Granada), Portuguese Empire, (India, Brazil), British Empire
Grand Duke Grand Duchess Grand duchy Grand Ducal Magnus Dux Today: Luxembourg; historical: Lithuania, Baden, Finland, Tuscany et al.
Archduke Archduchess Archduchy Archducal Arci Dux Historical: Unique only in Austria, Archduchy of Austria; title used for member of the Habsburg dynasty
Prince Princess Principality, Princely state Princely Princeps Today: Monaco, Liechtenstein, Asturies, Wales;[1] Andorra (Co-Princes). Historical: Albania, Serbia
Duke Duchess Duchy Ducal Dux Duke of Buccleuch, Duke of York, Duke of Devonshire et al.
Count Countess County Comital Comes Most common in the Holy Roman Empire, translated in German as Graf; historical: Portugal, Barcelona, Brandenburg, Baden, numerous others
Baron Baroness Barony Baronial Baro There are normal baronies and sovereign baronies, a sovereign barony can be compared with a principality, however, this is an historical exception; sovereign barons no longer have a sovereign barony, but only the title and style
Pope There is no formal feminine of Pope (Popess) Note 1 Papacy Papal Papa Monarch of the Papal States and later Sovereign of the State of Vatican City

The title of a character found in Tarot cards based upon the Pope on the Roman Catholic Church. As the Bishop of Rome is an office always forbidden to women there is no formal feminine of Pope, which comes from the Latin word papa (an affectionate form of the Latin for father). Indeed the Oxford English Dictionary does not contain the word.[2]
The mythical Pope Joan, who was reportedly a woman, is always referred to with the masculine title pope, even when her female identity is known. Further, even if a woman were to become Bishop of Rome it is unclear if she would take the title popess; a parallel might be drawn with the Anglican Communion whose female clergy use the masculine titles of priest and bishop as opposed to priestess or bishopess.
Nonetheless some European languages, along with English, have formed a feminine form of the word pope, such as the Italian papessa, the French papesse, and the German Päpstin.

Titles used by knights, dames, baronets and baronetesses[edit]

These do not belong to the nobility.

"Sir" and "Dame" differ from titles such as "Mr" and "Mrs" in that they can only be used before a person's first name, and not immediately before their surname.

  • Chevalier

Judicial titles[edit]

Historical[edit]

Ecclesiastical titles (Christian)[edit]

Titles are used to show somebody's ordination as a priest or their membership in a religious order. Use of titles differs between denominations.

Religious[edit]

Priests[edit]

Christian priests often have their names prefixed with a title similar to The Reverend.

Used for deceased persons only[edit]

Other[edit]

Academic titles[edit]

  • Dr. - Short for doctor, a title used by those with doctoral degrees, such as MD, PhD, EdD, and LLD. Those with JD degrees do not use this as a title.
  • Prof. - Professor

Military titles[edit]

Military ranks are used before names.

Ranks of other organizations[edit]

The names of police officers may be preceded by a title such as "Officer" or by their rank.

Unofficial use[edit]

Some titles are used to show one's role or position in a society or organization.

Some titles are used in English to refer to the position of people in foreign political systems

Non-English speaking areas[edit]

Default titles in other languages[edit]

French German Dutch Spanish
Male Monsieur Herr Meneer Señor
Female Madame Frau Mevrouw Señora
Unmarried female Mademoiselle Fräulein Mejuffrouw Señorita

Academic[edit]

Religious[edit]

Honorary titles[edit]

Rulers[edit]

Historical titles for heads of state[edit]

The following are no longer officially in use, though some may be claimed by former regnal dynasties.

Appointed[edit]

Elected or popularly declared[edit]

Hereditary[edit]

When a difference exists below, male titles are placed to the left and female titles are placed to the right of the slash.

Aristocratic[edit]

Historical[edit]

Russian:

German:

Spanish:

others

Fictional titles[edit]

Other[edit]

Historical[edit]

Post-nominal letters[edit]

Members of legislatures often have post-nominal letters expressing this:

University degrees[edit]

  • Associate
    • AA - Associate of Arts
    • AAS - Associate of Applied Science
    • AS - Associate of Science
  • Bachelor
    • BA – Bachelor of Arts
    • BArch – Bachelor of Architecture
    • BBA – Bachelor of Business Administration
    • BSBA – Bachelor of Science of Business Administration
    • BBiotech - Bachelor of Biotechnology
    • BDS / BChD - Bachelor of Dental Surgery
    • BDentTech - Bachelor of Dental Technology
    • BDes - Bachelor of Design
    • BD / BDiv - Bachelor of Divinity
    • BEd - Bachelor of Education
    • BEng – Bachelor of Engineering
    • BEnvd - Bachelor of Environmental Design
    • BFA - Bachelor of Fine Arts
    • LLB – Bachelor of Laws
    • MB, ChB / MB, BS / BM, BCh / MB, BChir - Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
    • BMus - Bachelor of Music
    • BPhil – Bachelor of Philosophy
    • STB - Bachelor of Sacred Theology
    • BSc – Bachelor of Science
    • BSN - Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    • BTh / ThB - Bachelor of Theology
    • BVSc – Bachelor of Veterinary Science
  • Designer [Dz]
  • Doctor
    • DA – Doctor of Arts
    • DBA – Doctor of Business Administration
    • D.D. – Doctor of Divinity
    • Ed.D. – Doctor of Education
    • EngD or DEng - Doctor of Engineering
    • DFA – Doctor of Fine Arts
    • DMA – Doctor of Musical Arts
    • D.Min. – Doctor of Ministry
    • D.Mus. – Doctor of Music
    • D.Prof – Doctor of Professional Studies
    • DPA – Doctor of Public Administration
    • D.Sc. – Doctor of Science
    • JD – Doctor of Jurisprudence
    • LL.D. – Doctor of Laws
    • MD – Doctor of Medicine
    • DO-Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
    • Pharm.D. – Doctor of Pharmacy
    • Ph.D. / D.Phil. – Doctor of Philosophy
    • PsyD – Doctor of Psychology
    • Th.D. – Doctor of Theology
    • Doctorates within the field of medicine:
  • Master
    • MArch – Master of Architecture
    • MA – Master of Arts
    • MAL – Master of Liberal Arts
    • MBA – Master of Business Administration
    • MPA – Master of Public Administration
    • MPS - Master of Public Service
    • MPl – Master of Planning
    • MChem – Master in Chemistry
    • MC - Master of Counselling
    • M. Des - Master of Design
    • MDiv – Master of Divinity
    • MDrama - Master of Drama
    • MDS – Master of Dental Surgery
    • MEd – Master of Education
    • MET - Master of Educational Technology
    • MEng – Master of Engineering
    • MFA – Master of Fine Arts
    • MHA - Master of Healthcare Administration
    • MHist - Master of History
    • LL.M. – Master of Law
    • MLA - Master of Landscape Architecture
    • MMath – Master of Mathematics
    • MPhil – Master of Philosophy
    • MRes – Master of Research
    • MSc – Master of Science
    • MScBMC - Master of Biomedical Communications
    • MPhys – Master of Physics
    • MPharm - Master of Pharmacy
    • MPH - Master of Public Health
    • MSE – Master of Science in Engineering
    • MSRE – Master of Science in Real Estate
    • MSW - Master of Social Work
    • Magister – Magister
    • S.T.M. - Master of Sacred Theology
    • ThM – Master of Theology
    • MURP – Master of Urban and Regional Planning

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Prince of Wales is a title granted, following an investiture, to the eldest son of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom – he is not a monarch in his own right.
  2. ^ "?". 

References[edit]