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  1. #1
    welldone Guest

    Question about "Ma'am"

    How old is a woman when it's appropriate to call her "Ma'am", assuming she is a stranger?

    The other day when I was watching "Will&Grace", Grace got upset because somebody called her "ma'am". Was it because that implies that she looks old? :D

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I would use 'Madam' for an older woman or when trying to be very formal. I wouldn't use 'Ma'am' as that is for the queen, in the UK.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I would use 'Madam' for an older woman or when trying to be very formal. I wouldn't use 'Ma'am' as that is for the queen, in the UK.
    In the southern US it is considered good manners and polite to call a woman m'am. Just do not call me madam. :wink:

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Rightie-ho, ma'am.

  5. #5
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    Here comes some questions from "Ma'am":

    In AE,do u use the spelling "ma'am" or "madam" in formal letter or speech script?
    If use "madam",do u pronunce it the AE way or the British way?

    Also,for a former prostitute who now runs her own "ranch" are called "Madam",e.g Madam ABC,

    It spells "Madam".do u call them "Ma'am" or the British way "Madam"?

    Thanks

  6. #6
    welldone Guest
    Thanks for everybody's answer.
    It seems that ma'am is more often used in America. I have heard people use that quite often at banks, restaurants, etc.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Brothelkeepers are called 'madam'in AE and 'madame' (French pronunciation) in BE.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Brothelkeepers are called 'madam'in AE and 'madame' (French pronunciation) in BE.
    When using geography stay with the correct term - cathouse. Meow! :wink: :wink:

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