English Language Guide: Honorific

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English honorific is a title prefixing a person's name, e.g.: Miss, Ms., Mr, Sir, Mrs, Dr, Lord. They are not necessarily titles or positions that can appear without the person's name, as in the President, the Earl.
There are many forms of honorifics that are used when addressing the members of the nobility or royalty, mostly in countries that are monarchies. These include "Your Majesty" and "Your Highness", which are often used when speaking with royalty. "Milord" or "Milady" (for "my lord" or "my lady") can be used to address a peer or peeress 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 the nobility and of professional honorifics such as Doctor or General do not have female equivalents because they were traditionally male-only professions, and women have simply adopted the associated titles.
General usage of some common titles
  • Ms: default use for women regardless of marital status.
  • Miss: for use by unmarried women only.
  • Mrs: for use by married women only.
  • Mr: Mister - for men.
  • Master: for boys or very young men.
  • Dr: Doctor - a person who has obtained a doctorate, such as the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Law (J.D.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Rev: Reverend - for Christian clergy
  • Fr: Father - for priests in Catholic and Orthodox Christianity, and some Anglican or Episcopalian groups