Etiquette 106

The age old question…

There are so many different ways to address a woman, what is the right prefix to use?

Ms.Any woman is a Ms., married, single or widowed. This prefix is a general way to address a woman. More often than not, Ms. is used to address an unmarried female (single or divorced).

Miss – Applies to a woman who has never been married.

Commonly the preference to use Ms. vs. Miss, when addressing a woman who has never been married, has to do with demographics. Single women from the north usually prefer Ms. while women from the south prefer Miss. It is always best to know how your guests like to be addressed before you address them formally. 

Mrs. – (Short for ‘Mistress’, pronounced ‘missus’.)  Addresses a woman who is married. Often widows (who are not on the dating scene) also like to be addressed as Mrs.

On the other hand, no matter where a man is in life, single, married or widowed, he is addressed as Mr. (stands for ‘Master’, pronounced ‘mister’). At least that one is easy. 🙂


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