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A title is a prefix or suffix added to someone's name in certain contexts. They 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.
- Honorific titles or styles of address, a phrase used to convey respect to the recipient of a communication, or to recognize an attribute such as:
- Title of authority, an identifier that specifies the office or position held by an official
Titles in English-speaking areas
The following titles are the default titles:
- Mr - Adult males
- 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.
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
- Hon. (Honourable)(for younger sons and daughters of barons) and. Rt. Hon. (Right Honourable) (for Privy Councillors), used in the United Kingdom
Some job titles of members of the legislature and executive are used as titles.
- President (from which comes such titles as Deputy President, Executive Vice President, Lord President of the Council, and Vice President)
- Mayor and related terms such as Lady Mayoress and Lord Mayor
- Governor and Lieutenant Governor
- Secretary, Cardinal Secretary of State, Foreign Secretary, General Secretary, Secretary of State, and other titles in the form "Secretary of..." in which Secretary means the same thing as Minister
- Chargé d'affaires
- 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 by 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|
Imperial and Royal (Austria)
|Imperator (Imperatrix)||Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Ottoman Empire, Holy Roman Empire, Russia, First and Second French Empire, Austria, Mexico, 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; 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: 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.
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
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.
- Advocate General AG
- Chancellor C (of the High Court)
- Judge and Admiralty Judge
- Justice J
- Magistrate and Promagistrate
- Master of the Rolls MR (of the Court of Appeal)
- Member and Chairman, for members of quasi-judicial boards
- Mufti and Grand Mufti
- President P (of the Queen's/King's Bench Division) or President P (of the Family Division)
- Privy Counsellor (or Privy Councillor) PC (of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council)
- Queen's Counsel QC (King's Counsel KC when monarch is male)
Ecclesiastical titles (Christian)
Christian priests often have their names prefixed with a title similar to The Reverend.
- Bishop (from which come Archbishop, Boy Bishop, Lord Archbishop, Metropolitan Bishop, and Prince Bishop)
- Priest (from which comes High Priest. The feminine equivalent is Priestess.)
- Father (Fr.)
- Dom - (from Latin: Dominus, "Lord") Used for Benedictine monks in solemn religious vows, but reserved for abbots among the Trappists. In Brazil, it is used for bishops.
- Ter (title) - Used by Armenian priests.
Used for deceased persons only
- Deacon and Archdeacon
- President (in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
- Almoner and Lord High Almoner (Christian)
- 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 ranks are used before names.
- Commodore (from which comes Air Commodore)
- Corporal (from which come Lance Corporal and Staff Corporal)
- Mate, more often titled as Chief Mate or First Mate
- Sergeant (from which come Sergeant at Mace and Sergeant of Arms
- Admiral (from which come Grand Admiral, Lord High Admiral, Rear Admiral, and Vice Admiral)
- Captain (from which comes Group Captain)
- Commander (from which come Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant Commander, and Wing Commander)
- General is usually used as a sort of shorthand for "general military commander". The term's far-reaching connotation has provoked its use in a very broad range of titles, including Adjutant General, Attorney General, Captain General, Colonel General, Director General, Generalissimo, General of the Army, Governor General, Lieutenant General, Lord Justice General, Major General, Resident General, Secretary General, Solicitor General, Surgeon General and Vicar General
- Officer, a generic sort of title whose use has spread in recent years into a wide array of mostly corporate and military titles. These include Air Officer, Chief Academic Officer, Chief analytics officer, Chief Business Development Officer, Chief Credit Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer, Chief Information Security Officer, Chief Knowledge Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Petty Officer, Chief Risk Officer, Chief Security Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Technical Officer, Chief Warrant Officer, Corporate officer, Customs officer, Field officer, First Officer, Flag Officer, Flying Officer, General Officer, Intelligence Officer, Junior Warrant Officer, Master Chief Petty Officer, Master Warrant Officer, Officer of State, Petty Officer, Pilot Officer, Police Officer, Political Officer, Revenue Officer, Senior Officer, Ship's Officer, Staff Officer, and Warrant Officer.
- Lieutenant (from which come First Lieutenant, Flight Lieutenant and Lord Lieutenant)
- Private - and many equivalent ranks depending on regiment
Ranks of other organizations
The names of police officers may be preceded by a title such as "Officer" or by their rank.
Some titles are used to show one's role or position in a society or organization.
- Nurse and Nanny
- Coach may be used before a name
- Wizard, such as the Grand Wizard and Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan
- Brother or Sister
- Chief Scout (The Scout Association), the head of The Scout Association,
- Queen's Scout title conferred upon a scout upon achieving highest attainable award achievable in the Scouting movement
- Queen's Guide title conferred upon a guide upon highest attainable award for members of the Girl Guiding movement
- Scout, Eagle Scout
Some titles are used in English to refer to the position of people in foreign political systems
Non-English speaking areas
Default titles in other languages
- Lama and the related Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama
- Druid and Archdruid
- Rosh HaYeshiva
- Emir/Emira – Arabic Prince/Princess
- Chief – origin of Chief of Staff, Chieftain, Clan Chief, Hereditary Chief, and War Chief. The present head of Samoa is titled a Paramount Chief
- Sultan/Sultana (title) – Arabic for "powerful ruler"
- Chancellor (from which come Lord Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor)
- Vizier and Grand Vizier
- Kim Jong-il is referred to as "Dear Leader" (친애하는 지도자, ch'inaehanŭn jidoja)
Historical titles for heads of state
The following are no longer officially in use, though some may be claimed by former regnal dynasties.
Elected or popularly declared
- King-Emperor (The feminine equivalent is Queen-Empress)
- Regina (the masculine form is Rex)
- Sapa Inca
When a difference exists below, male titles are placed to the left and female titles are placed to the right of the slash.
- Almamy – Fulani people of west Africa
- Asantehene – Ashanti, title of the King of the Ashanti People in Ghana
- Eze – Igbo people of Nigeria
- Kabaka – Baganda people of Buganda in Uganda
- Negus – Ethiopia
- Oba – Yoruba people of Nigeria
- Omukama – Bunyoro, title of some kings in Uganda
- Pharaoh – ancient Egypt
- Tutsi Mwami – Kings of Rwanda and Burundi
- Arasan/Arasi – Tamil Nadu (India), Sri Lanka
- Bayin – The title given to the king of pre colonial Burma
- Phrabat Somdej Phrachaoyuhua – King of Thailand (Siam), the title literally means "The feet of the Greatest Lord who is on the heads (of his subjects)" (This royal title does not refer directly to the king himself but to his feet, according to traditions.)
- Druk Gyalpo — hereditary title given to the king of Bhutan
- Chakrawarti Raja – India Sri Lanka
- Chogyal — "Divine Ruler" — ruled Sikkim until 1975
- Datu – pre-colonial Philippines
- Engku or Ungku – Malaysia, to denote particular family lineage akin to royalty
- Huángdì – Imperial China (Emperor)
- Meurah – Aceh before Islam
- Maha raja/feminine form is Maharani – Emperor, Empress India, Sri Lanka
- Patabenda – Sub- king Sri lanka
- Preah Karuna Preah Bat Sâmdech Preah Bâromneath – King of Cambodia Khmer, the title literally means "The feet of the Greatest Lord who is on the heads (of his subjects)" (This royal title doesn't refer directly to the king himself but to his feet, according to traditions.)
- Qaghan – Central Asian Tribes
- Saopha – Shan, king of Shan, today as a part of Myanmar
- Susuhanan – the Indonesian princely state of Surakarta until its abolition
- Shahinshah or Padshah or Badshah- Persian/Iranian "King of Kings" or Persian rulers in Hindustan(India)
- Shah – Persian/Iranian and Afghanistan and Tajikistan King
- Sheikh – Arabic traditional regional leader, principalities of (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE)
- Sultan/Sultana – Arabic King (present Oman and former Ottoman Empire)
- Syed – Islamic World, descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad
- Tennō or Mikado – Japan
- Tengku – Malaysia, Indonesia, Tengku (also spelled Tunku in Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah and Deli Sultanate of Indonesia is roughly equivalent to Prince or Princess
- Veyndhan, ko/Arasi – Tamil Nadu(India)
- Wang (King) – pre-Imperial China. In China, "king" is the usual translation for the term wang 王.
- Yang di-Pertuan Agong – Monarch of Malaysia, elected each five years among the reigning Sultan of each Malaysian state
- Mirza, Persian/Iranian, Indian and Afghanistan and Tajikistan King
- Arqa/Thagavor – King of Armenia
- Germanic king
- Großbürger/Großbürgerin (English: Grand Burgher) – historical German title acquired or inherited by persons and family descendants of the ruling class in autonomous German-speaking cities and towns of Central Europe, origin under the Holy Roman Empire, ceased after 1919 along with all titles of German nobility.
- Basileus – Greek ruler
- Despot, a Byzantine court title, also granted in the states under Byzantine influence, such as the Latin Empire, Bulgaria, Serbia, and the Empire of Trebizond.
- Vezér – Ancient Hungarian
- Fejedelem – Ancient/Medieval Hungarian
- Tsar – the ruler of Imperial Russia
- Vojvoda (Serbian)/Vajda (Hungarian) – Serbian/Hungarian/Romany Title
- Domn (in Romanian) /Gospodar (in Old Slavonian) – Medieval Romania (Moldova, Wallachia)
- Rí, Rí túaithe, Ruiri, Rí ruireach, and Ard Rí – King, local king, regional overking, (provincial) king of overkings, and High King in Gaelic Ireland, also Scotland
- Kniaz'/Knyaginya/Knez/Knjeginja (generally translated as "prince") – Kievan Rus'/Serbia
- Kaiser – Imperial Germany
- Tsar/Tsaritsa – Bulgaria, pre-imperial Russia, Serbia
- Kunigaikshtis (Kunigaikštis) – Lithuanian, duke as in Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
- Župan sometimes Veliki Župan (Grand Župan) – Serbia, Croatia
- Autocrator Greek term for the Byzantine Emperor
- Chieftain – Leader of a tribe or clan.
- Tuʻi or tui – there were/are also kings in Oceania (i.e. Samoa, Tonga, Wallis and Futuna, Nauru)
- houʻeiki, matai, aliʻi, tūlafale, tavana, ariki – usually translated as "chief" in various Polynesian countries.
- "Mo'i" normally translated as King is a title used by Hawaiian monarchs since unification in 1810. The last person to hold that title was Queen Lili'uokalani.
- Augusta (The masculine equivalent is Augustus)
- Concubine (The Chinese imperial system, for instance, had a vastly complex hierarchy of titled concubines and wives to the emperor)
- Ras (which translates as Head)
- Bitwoded (translates as Beloved)
- Fitawrari (translates as Leader of the Vanguard)
- Dejazmach (translates as Commander of the Gate)
- Kenyazmach (translates as Commander of the Right)
- Gerazmach (translates as Commander of the Left)
- Gentleman (used as a title is such forms as Gentleman at Arms, Gentleman of the Bedchamber, and Gentleman Usher. The feminine equivalent of a Gentleman is a Gentlewoman, or, in some circumstances, a Lady.)
- Commissioner (from which come First Church Estates Commissioner and High Commissioner)
- Comptroller (from which Comptroller General and Comptroller of the Household)
- Forester or Master Forester
- Intendant (and the related Superintendent)
- Marcher or Lady Marcher
- Matriarch or Patriarch
- Prior, Lord Prior
- Registrar (in a variant spelling in the title Lord Clerk Register)
- Seigneur (from which come Monsignor and the French common polite term Monsieur, equivalent to Mister)
- Sheriff (from which comes High Sheriff)
- Treasurer, Master Treasurer and Secretary Treasurer
- Warden, Hereditary Warden, Lord Warden
- Bearer, such as Hereditary Banner Bearer, Standard Bearer, or Swordbearer
- Goodman and Goodwife
- Grand Bard
- Giani or Gyani
- Pir, Murshid
- Aqabe sa'at (translates as Guardian of the Church Hours)
- Balambaras (translates as Fortress Commander)
- Commissar, often as People's Commissar
- Inquisitor and Grand Inquisitor
- Magister Militum
- Palatine (Ancient Rome, the Roman Catholic Church, Hungary, etc.)
- Pontiff and Pontifex Maximus
- Viceroy (the feminine equivalent is Vicereine)
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Post-nominal letters. (Discuss) Proposed since June 2013.|
Members of legislatures often have post-nominal letters expressing this:
- Member of Congress MC
- Member of Parliament MP
- Member of the European Parliament MEP
- Member of the Scottish Parliament MSP
- Member of Provincial Parliament MPP
- Member of the National Assembly MNA
- Member of the House of Keys MHK
- Speaker of the House of Keys SHK
- Member of the Legislative Council MLC
- Member of the Legislative Assembly MLA
- Member of the House of Representatives
- Member of the House of Assembly
- 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]
- 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:
- 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
- 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
- Byzantine aristocracy and bureaucracy
- Corporate title
- Ethiopian aristocratic and religious titles
- False titles of nobility
- Hereditary title
- Index of religious honorifics and titles
- Military rank
- Political institutions of Rome
- Post-nominal letters
- Pre-nominal letters
- Royal and noble ranks
- Royal and noble styles
- Style (manner of address)
- Title of honor
- Use of courtesy titles and honorifics in professional writing
Titles could also be a short phrase or word on the cover of most books.
- 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.
- African Kings by Daniel Lainé
- Keepers of the Kingdom by Alastair Bruce, Julian Calder, and Mark Cator
- Master and Commander, film directed by Peter Weir
- Realter Society
|Look up title in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|