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    #1

    Madam missus

    Hi
    Is true that calling a married woman, madam is considered impudent? I was told by a friend of mine. If so, how should address a married woman, besides mrs?
    Thanks.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Madam missus

    Quote Originally Posted by sebayanpendam View Post
    Hi
    Is true that calling a married woman, madam is considered impudent? I was told by a friend of mine. If so, how should address a married woman, besides mrs?
    Thanks.
    No, it's not impudent.

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    #3

    Re: Madam missus

    In North America, where I have spent two years in the last six, mature women are addressed as ma'am (pronounced 'mam').

    I call them that here in the UK. None of them seem to mind.

    Rover

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Madam missus

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    No, it's not impudent.
    I think the OP's friend may have been thinking of the expression 'a madam'. I wouldn't call it 'impudent' but it's not polite.

    If it refers to a mature woman, 'a madam' is someone who manages prostitutes.

    If it refers to a young girl it means that she is bossy - 'She's a bit of a madam.'

    b

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Madam missus

    Quote Originally Posted by sebayanpendam View Post
    Hi
    Is true that calling a married woman, madam is considered impudent? I was told by a friend of mine. If so, how should address a married woman, besides mrs?
    Thanks.
    Don't forget that you would only be able to address a woman as "Mrs" if you a) know that she is married and b) know her surname. Then you could say "Hello, Mrs Jones".
    The point of "Madam" is that it can/could be used to address any woman, regardless of age or marital status and even if you don't know her name at all. You would never say "Hello, missus" on its own to someone you don't know. We do use it, but we use it to people we know and in a jocular fashion.

    In some places, a woman might be addressed as "Madam" by staff. A waiter at a restaurant might say "Let me show you to your table, Madam" or "Can I take your order now, Madam?"
    A member of check-in staff at an airline desk might say "Hello Madam" as a woman approaches the desk and "Thank you Madam. Have a good flight" as the woman walks away.

    My entirely personal opinion is that I dislike it. I do not wish to be addressed as "Madam" in any situation. I see no need for any kind of address by someone I don't know. I am quite happy for my waiter or check-in attendant to say "Hi" or "Hello" or "Good evening" and leave it at that. However, I'm well aware that some people would consider that rude.

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    #6

    Re: Madam missus

    I do use Sir and Madam for strangers- there may be no need for it, but at least it is showing a desire to be polite.

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    #7

    Re: Madam missus

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    I do use Sir and Madam for strangers- there may be no need for it, but at least it is showing a desire to be polite.
    I get your point but that only works if you feel that not using it is impolite, which I don't. I find "Good morning/afternoon/evening" etc perfectly polite on its own.

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    #8

    Re: Madam missus

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I get your point but that only works if you feel that not using it is impolite, which I don't. I find "Good morning/afternoon/evening" etc perfectly polite on its own.
    I'm with you on that.

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    #9

    Re: Madam missus

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I get your point but that only works if you feel that not using it is impolite, which I don't. I find "Good morning/afternoon/evening" etc perfectly polite on its own.
    If you went to America, ems, you'd be addressed as ma'am all the time. How would you feel about that?

    Rover

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    #10

    Re: Madam missus

    Well, if I were emsr2d2 and male, I would be deeply offended.

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