In the English language, an English honorific is a title prefixing a person's name, e.g.: Miss, Ms, Mr, Sir, Mrs, Dr, Lady or Lord. They are not titles or positions that can appear without the person's name, as in the President or the Earl. Its prevalence in this article is not dependent on sanctions from official authorities. Some of them are more or less in line with traditional practices.
There are many forms of honorifics that are used when one addresses the members of the nobility, clergy, or royalty, mostly in countries that are monarchies. These include "Your Majesty", "Your Royal Highness" or simply "Your Highness", which are used to address certain members of royalty, or "My lord/lady" to address a peer other than a Duke, who is referred to as "Your Grace".
Some honorifics distinguish the sex of the person being referred to. Some titles of nobility and professional honorifics, such as the traditionally male-only Doctor or General, do not have gender-specific versions; women take the same form of the title as men.
- Master: for young boys. This is used especially in the UK. It can also mean a male head of a household, an employer of domestic workers, servants or attendants, an owner of animals or slaves etc. or a person exercising mastery at something. It is also a title for the eldest son of a Scottish laird.
- Mr: for men, regardless of marital status
- Mister(//) : has the same meaning as Mr
- Miss: for girls and young women who are usually unmarried. it is also used in secondary schools where some female teachers tend to be called miss, regardless of marital status .
- Mrs: (// or //) for married women.
- Ms: (// or //) for women, regardless of marital status.
- Mx: a recent innovation, used by some as a gender-neutral honorific.
- Sir: for men, formally if they have a British knighthood or if they are a baronet, or generally as a term of general respect or flattery. Equivalent to the opposite meaning of "Madam" (see below). Also used in secondary schools; most tend not to call male teachers "Mr ___", but rather "Sir".
- Gentleman: Originally a social rank, standing below an esquire and above a yeoman. The term can now refer to any man of good, courteous conduct.
- Sire: a term of address for a male monarch, previously could be used for a person in a position of authority in general or a lord.
- Mistress is an old form of address for a woman. It implies "lady of the house", especially a woman who is head of a household with domestic workers, institution or other establishment. Can be also a woman employing, or in authority over, servants, attendants, animals or slaves. Can also refer to a dominatrix. The titles Mrs., Miss and Ms. are abbreviations derived from Mistress.
- Madam or Ma'am (// in General American and either /ˈmam/, //, or // in Received Pronunciation.): for women, a term of general respect or flattery. Originally used only to a woman of rank or authority. May also refer to a female pimp. Equivalent to "Sir" (see above).
- All of "Sir", "Madam", and "Ma'am" are commonly used by workers performing a service for the beneficiary of the service, e.g. "May I take your coat, Ma'am?"
- Dame: for women who have been honoured with a British knighthood in their own right. Women married to knighted individuals, but not knighted in their own right, are commonly referred to as "Lady".
- Lord: for male barons, viscounts, earls, and marquesses, as well as some of their children. In some countries judges, especially those of higher rank, are referred to as lords, ladies or lordship/ladyship. (Style: Lordship or My Lord)
- Lady: for female peers with the rank of baroness, viscountess, countess, and marchioness, or the wives of men who hold the equivalent titles.By courtesy the title is often also used for wives of Knights and Baronets. The term may now be used to refer to any respectable adult woman. (Style: Your Ladyship or My Lady)
- Queen's Counsel (QC): for respected judges and barristers (King's Counsel (KC) during the reign of a king).
- Esq: (Esquire), in the UK, was historically used for a person of higher social rank who did not have a specific title. Later it was a formal method of addressing any adult male without another title. It is now virtually obsolete. All correspondence addressed by Buckingham Palace to adult male UK subjects uses the suffix 'Esq.' In the United States the title is utilized for attorneys who have passed the bar exam and been admitted to practice.
- Adv: (Advocate) for notable lawyers and jurists, used in Scotland, South Africa and other countries.
- Excellency, also Excellence, a title of honor given to certain high officials, as governors, ambassadors, royalty, nobility, and Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops, (preceded by his, your, etc.).
- Her/His Honour: Used for judges, mayors and magistrates in some countries. (Style: Your Honour)
- The Honourable or The Honorable (abbreviated to The Hon., Hon. or formerly The Hon'ble, used for certain officials, members of congress, parliament, presidents, and judges (Style: My Lord/Lady or Your Lordship/Your Ladyship, Mr./Madam Ambassador, Your Honor)
- The Right Honourable or The Right Honorable: for certain high government officials and judges.
- Dr: (Doctor) for a person who has an academic research degree, such as Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). In the United States it applies to those who have obtained a first professional degree, such as the Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD), Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), Doctor of Optometry (OD), Doctor of Audiology (AuD), Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). In Commonwealth countries, medical practitioners Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS or MBChB), dentists Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), use the honorific 'Dr', though surgeons, upon completion of MRCS and admission to the Royal College, are often addressed as 'Mr' or 'Miss' in the UK and in New Zealand. Unlike in the US, Doctor of Medicine (MD) in some Commonwealth countries is a higher research degree obtained after first qualifying for a medical degree (MBBS). Many universities (and some professional schools) and graduate psychology programs (usually in counseling developmental, or educational/learning psychology) offer a doctorate in education (EdD). All this degree means is that your doctorate is granted by a college of education.
- Prof: (Professor) for a person in a Commonwealth country who holds the academic rank of professor in a university. Such rank is above that of "lecturer", the basic rank of a tenured or tenure-track academician. In the United States "professor" is used as a title for any tenured or tenure-track academician. Professor in a Commonwealth country is roughly equivalent to a chaired professor in the United States. Professors may or may not have doctoral degrees, but almost always do. Professor is nevertheless considered a senior title to "doctor".
Religious organizational titles
- His Holiness (abbreviation HH), oral address Your Holiness, or Holy Father – the Pope and the Pope Emeritus, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Patriarch of Peć and the Serbs, Catholicos of All Armenians, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Malankara Orthodox Catholicos and some other Christian Patriarchs.
- His All Holiness (abbreviation HAH), oral address Your All Holiness – the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
- His Beatitude or The Most Blessed, oral address Your Beatitude – Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic patriarchs, Macedonian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych. If they have been elevated to the cardinalate by the Pope, they use the traditional "His Eminence" like other cardinals (more properly and formally, "His Beatitude and Eminence").
- His Most Eminent Highness (abbreviation HMEH), Oral address Your Most Eminent Highness - The Prince and Grand Master of Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
- His Eminence (abbreviation "H.Em."), oral address Your Eminence or Most Reverend Eminence – Roman Catholic cardinals
- His Eminence (abbreviation "H.Em.") or The Most Reverend (abbreviation The Most Rev.), oral address Your Eminence – Eastern Orthodox metropolitans and archbishops who are not the First Hierarch of an autocephalous church;
- His Grace or The Most Reverend (abbreviation The Most Rev.), oral address Your Grace – Roman Catholic archbishops in Commonwealth countries; and Roman Catholic bishops in Ireland, Marthoma Metropolitans
- His Grace or The Right Reverend (abbreviation The Rt. Rev.), oral address Your Grace – Eastern Orthodox bishops.
- His Lordship or The Right Reverend (abbreviation The Rt Rev.), oral address My Lord – Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops in Commonwealth countries.
- The Reverend: (Rev.) used generally for members of the Christian clergy regardless of affiliation, but especially in Catholic and Protestant denominations. Equivalent to 'Father' (see below).
- Fr: (Father) for priests in Catholic and Eastern Christianity, as well as some Anglican or Episcopalian groups; Generally equivalent to 'Reverend' (see above).
- Pr: (Pastor) used generally for members of the Christian clergy regardless of affiliation, but especially in Protestant denominations. Equivalent to 'Reverend' (see above).
- Br: (Brother) for men generally in some religious organizations; in the Catholic Church and Eastern churches, for male members of religious orders or communities, who are not Priests.
- Sr: (Sister) Nun or other religious sister in the Catholic Church; for women generally in some religious organizations, such as the Mormons. Sometimes informally abbreviated as 'Sis'.
- Elder: (Elder) used generally for male missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and for members of the adult leadership known as the general authorities. Although most all male adults of the LDS church are Elders, the title is reserved for the prior mentioned groups.
- Rabbi: (Rabbi) In Judaism, a rabbi // is an ordained religious officiant or a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רַבִּי rabi [ˈʁäbi], meaning "My Master" (irregular plural רבנים rabanim [ʁäbäˈnim]), which is the way a student would address a master of Torah. The word "master" רב rav [ˈʁäv] literally means "great one".
- Imam: for Islamic clergymen, specially the ones who lead prayers and deliver sermons. Sometimes "sheikh" is also used to signify the leadership role of a clergyman in the community in addition to their religious ceremony tasks.
- Sayyid: males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali, sons of Muhammad's daughter Fatimah and his son-in-law Ali (Ali ibn Abi Talib).:149
- Sharif: used for descendants of Hasan.
- Haji: used by Muslims who have completed the hajj pilgrimage.
- Indian honorifics
- Canadian honorifics
- Courtesy titles in the United Kingdom
- French honorifics
- German honorifics
- Style (manner of address)
- "ma'am - definition of ma'am in English from the Oxford dictionary". oxforddictionaries.com. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- "Honoring the Priesthood". lds.org. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
- Ho, Engseng (2006). The graves of Tarim genealogy and mobility across the Indian Ocean. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-93869-4. Retrieved 25 August 2016.