The Real Meaning of Mr. and Mrs.

Today I received a Facebook invite to a bridal shower, labelled from “MISS to MRS.”  Considering that she’s an lesbian, I wondered what “MRS” meant in that context. She wasn’t going to have a “Mister” more of a going from Miss to Misses, and where did the “R” come from in the Misses abbreviation, “Mrs?”

Until I received her invitation,  I’d blindly excepted that Ms. and Mrs. were formal titles differentiating  married women from single women. Then I wondered about the origins of “Ms.” to “Mrs.”  So I did some research.

Turns out, “Mr” didn’t actually mean “mister,” until some time in the 1700’s.  The original abbreviation stood for “Master.”  It was a name assigned to white men after they turned 18 years old.  Usually white males were addressed as “Young Master” before they were recognized as adult males.

The female equivalent of “Master” is “Mistress.”  Girls were called “Miss,” until they reached eighteen or got married.  Sometimes women married as early as thirteen.  Marriage automatically assigned females adult status and they were then referred to as “Mistress.”

 

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