Talk:Courtesy title

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Revived article[edit]

Talk moved from Talk:Courtesy titles in the United Kingdom to this page, which was previously a redirect to that one. PamD (talk) 20:11, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

In the above discussion (ie previous discussion at Talk:Courtesy titles in the United Kingdom - note added later) about the page move, it seemed agreed that no-one knew enough about Courtesy titles in non-UK context to be able to write an article. I think the current stub confirms this, tangling two distinct dictionary definitions to arrive at the inclusion of "Dr." as a courtesy title used without any legal status. PamD (talk) 19:22, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Pam, see the MIT style guide: "Courtesy titles include Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Dr." I think the idea is that titles such as Dr. are customarily given to medical doctors and often other types of holders of doctorates as a mark of respect and courtesy (i.e., are courtesy titles), while letters such as M.D., D.V.M., etc. signify that a degree has been accorded (i.e., have "legal" or official status). There's a whole article on it, Doctor (title), which touches a bit on uses of the title in social contexts. The MIT guide is not quite as informative as one would like, but its statement seems fairly straightforward. Neutralitytalk 21:29, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
If you are looking for references, several institutional style guides explicitly refer to the title as a courtesy title: SUNY Buffalo; UNC; Miami, Wisconsin, and many others; the Toledo Blade refers to Dr. as a courtesy title; the New Zealand Veterinary Association refers to use of Dr. by vets as a courtesy title several times; and over the course of a controversy over use of Dr. by British dentists, the title is referred to as a courtesy title several times, including in reputable publications such as Nature. Several books also refer to Dr. as a courtesy title, including several business communications/professional writing handbooks: p. 144, p. 159 and writing guides p. 29, p. 235. Neutralitytalk 22:02, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

US Naval officers holding the rank of Captain but are not "the" Captain[edit]

The section regarding addressing US Naval officers with the rank of Captain aboard a ship who are not "the Captain" doesn't make sense. So another officer other than the "Captain" who holds the US Naval rank of Captain would be addressed as "Commodore" as a courtesy even though usually Commodores outrank ship Captains? The most awkward situation that comes to mind is on aircraft carriers where usually the XO would hold the rank of Captain also. With the said criteria, he would be addressed with the formal courtesy of "Commodore" even though ordinarally one who holds such a title would outrank a ship Captain. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:36, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

The source seems to be discussing officers traveling on board a ship to which they are not assigned. The XO might be addressed as "XO" rather than by rank, perhaps? In any case, better sourcing is clearly needed and I have altered the article accordingly. --BlueMoonlet (t/c) 17:44, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Section France[edit]


As I'm neither a specialist of the matter, nor a regular contributor to Wikipedia, I won't change it by myself, but I'ld like to point out that this section lacks precision.

Whereas the custom of the eldest son using the immediate lower title in the hierarchy is almost extinct, the current usage is rather to use the family title for every male member of the family (except the bearer) followed by their first name (for example, all the other male members of the familly of the Count of X may be called Count Y of X (Y being their first name)

To be more precise, there are rules applied within this usage depending of the title of the bearer:

  • For a Baron, other male members of the family are referred to as Baron Y
  • For a Count, other male members of the family are referred to as Count Y
  • For a Marquess and a Duke, other male members of the family are referred to as Count Y

With regards to the title of Prince, there are various rules, mainly because of the rarity of this title within the French nobility and the variety of the origins of those titles.

This is a set of unwritten rules, which I have no source to account for, so I will gladely let any specialist research such matter before changing this section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:27, 16 December 2012 (UTC)


I believe the section on Ireland may create some confusion. The Irish govt may not recognise titles of nobility - which is commonplace among Republics - however this does not mean that people holding titles in the British Peerage of Ireland only have courtesy titles. These are extant substantive titles in the British peerage system. For example, if the Earl of Snowden visits or even lives in, say, the USA or Germany, he's still the Earl of Snowden with an extant title. That doesn't change because he happens to step foot outside the United Kingdom. (talk) 23:32, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

The paragraph is a bit of a puzzle. Does the Republic's constitution forbid citizens to inherit substantive noble titles? If a British peerage is granted to a foreigner, is that peerage merely "honorary" like a knighthood would be? Isn't "the continued conferring of United Kingdom Irish nobility titles on Irish citizens" now purely hypothetical (the last new Irish peerage was created in 1898)?  —Tamfang (talk) 02:12, 1 October 2013 (UTC)


This article currently has a section (its first section after the lead) on "Africa" which was added by an IP user here. It has no references to support it, and I am going to remove it as original research-- however, what do I know? A loose noose (talk) 07:29, 16 May 2018 (UTC)