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(Redirected from Mister)

Mr. is a social title used for a man. It is an abbreviation of Mister, though it is almost never spelt out in normal usage.

Mister is an alteration of Master; the equivalent female titles, Mrs., Miss, and Ms., are variants of Mistress. After the development of the word Mister for adult males, the title Master was retained and used for boys and young men. In some societies, this is now rare or considered affected, though more acceptable in Britain and still used in conservative enclaves in the United States. See more at Master.

Today, if a boy were to be called by a title, Mr. would usually be used.

In direct address, Mr. is usually used with the last name only ("May I help you, Mr. Ericson?"). In indirect speech, it can be used with either the last name or the full name ("This is Mr. James Ericson." "Would you please help Mr. Ericson?") On envelopes, it is usually used with the full name.

In the United Kingdom, a period (UK: a 'full stop') does not follow the abbreviated form: "I saw Mr Brown at the office talking to Mrs Price."

In British newspapers after an article states a person's full name, "John Smith," they are thereafter referred to as "Mr Smith," except if they are a convicted criminal in which case they are simply called by their surname, "Smith."

In US English the title "mister" is sometimes used informally by itself in direct address ("Are you alright, mister?"). In formal usage, the title sir is used in this case.

The rare plural of Mr. is Messrs.: pronounced "messers", an abbreviation for the French messieurs.

Professional titles

"Mr." can be combined with certain titles (Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Justice). The female equivalent is Madam. All of these except Mr. Justice are used in direct address and without the name. The title Mr. Justice Krever is not used in direct address.

In the United States Supreme Court, instead of Mr. or Madam Justice, the title is simply Justice.

In the Courts of England and Wales, Judges of the High Court are addressed, for example Mr Justice Crane. Where a forename is considered part of the official title it is always used, for example Mr Justice David Steel. The female equivalent is Mrs Justice Hallett, not Madam Justice Hallett. In court, they are referred to as My Lord or My Lady. When more than one judge is sitting and one needs to be specific, one would refer to My Lord, Mr Justice Crane. High Court Judges are styled The Honourable while holding office. In writing, such as in the law reports, they can be referred to by name followed by the letter J, for example Crane J.

"Mr." and "Mrs." are traditionally used by members of one of the Royal College of Surgeons as opposed to Doctor which most other British medical practitioners use. This convention is not used by any other specialty. It persists for older surgeons in Australia and New Zealand who qualified before the Australian College separated from its British parent.

Marital status

Since the term Mr. does not indicate whether a man is married or not, many feminists believed that a woman's title should not indicate marital status either. For this reason, the title Ms. was advocated as an equivalent to Mr., particularly in business usage. The original female title, Mistress, did not indicate marital status and no distinction was made until the advent of the diminutive Miss for an unmarried woman in the Victorian Era. Thereafter the title for a married woman became Mrs..

In several other European languages, the title used for married women, such as Madame, Seņora, or Frau, is the direct feminine equivalent of the title used for men; the title for unmarried women is a diminutive: Mademoiselle, Seņorita, or Fräulein. For this reason, usage has shifted towards using the married title as the default for all women in professional usage.

See also


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