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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Madam or Ma'am

    Hello All

    What is the difference in usage between Madam and Ma'am? Are they both the same or is Ma'am an unfavourable form of address? Would a woman feel offended if someone she does not know said to her Ma'am?

    Many thanks.


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    #2

    Re: Madam or Ma'am

    Ma'am is an abbreviated form of Madam. It is used to address HM the Queen of England, pronounced with a short "a", but is not much used otherwise. No-one would be offended by its use.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Madam or Ma'am

    Ma'am is used in the US, especially in the South, and in situations in which a man would be referred to as "Sir," such as in the military or other formal settings.

    "Can I help you, ma'am?" might be heard in a store, but "Can I help you, madam?" would sound absurdly formal to us.

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    #4

    Re: Madam or Ma'am

    "Couple of other things. It's ma'am as in ham, not marm as in farm."

    ----<The Queen>

  3. Soup's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Madam or Ma'am

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    No-one would be offended by its use.
    There are some who would and are, however. Ma'am can imply someone older than you (want to believe you are).

    Sales Person: May I help you, Ma'am?
    Customer: It's Miss, thank you.

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