Advanced search


(66 Posts)
Nicknamegoeshere Wed 07-Oct-20 00:32:52

This may possibly have been done to death so forgive me if I'm late to the party, but why on earth do so many people struggle with my preferred title being Miss ***?!! Sick of rules of assumption surrounding Miss/Ms/Mrs!!!

OP’s posts: |
BewilderedDoughnut Wed 07-Oct-20 00:43:40

I’m married but I use Ms because it’s the equivalent of Mr. Nothing about my marital status can be determined from Ms. As it should be.

HecatesCat Wed 07-Oct-20 00:44:27


This may possibly have been done to death so forgive me if I'm late to the party, but why on earth do so many people struggle with my preferred title being Miss ***?!! Sick of rules of assumption surrounding Miss/Ms/Mrs!!!

Who struggles with it?

Nicknamegoeshere Wed 07-Oct-20 00:52:52

@BewilderedDoughnut I totally agree that it should be that way. However, a lot of people I have come into contact with over the years have assumed that, upon finding out I am a divorcee, I am a "Ms." This is apparently still quite a common assumption.
Tbh at least with Miss those that make the old-fashioned assumptions wrongly think I've never been married! I'll take that ha ha!
I was born Miss * and intend to die Miss ***! Luckily my fiancé is on board with this grin

OP’s posts: |
Nicknamegoeshere Wed 07-Oct-20 00:58:25

@HecatesCat So many people! Especially the older generation. The amount of times I have heard..."Well technically you should be called Ms ** because you're divorced." And also apparently at 40 I'm too old to be a Miss grin

OP’s posts: |
alexdgr8 Wed 07-Oct-20 01:30:33

you should be what you want.
actresses are always Miss Gloria Smith, even if they are married to Mr Jones. let alone being divorced.
even in the old days, that style of address seemed to recognise the professional status of the actress herself. which remained, quite irrelevant whether she married or not.
or maybe it was because for simplicity; they couldn't keep up with all the various marriages some had eg elizabeth taylor !
what do people think about the Mx title? i haven't seen it used.

TheFormerPorpentinaScamander Wed 07-Oct-20 01:49:21

I'm with you on that OP! I have a couple of acquaintances who insist I should be known as Miss as, in their words "your marital status is no one else's business so why should your name show that you've never been married?". To me that looks like I'm hiding it!* I've always been Miss and probably always will be. I'm 36 now and probably never going to get married anyway.

* I have no issue with women who chose to be Ms, but I don't want to be!

Nicknamegoeshere Wed 07-Oct-20 01:53:37

@TheFormerPorpentinaScamander Well I'm pleased I've found someone else who is happy to be a Miss and doesn't want to be a Ms!

I will get married again at some point, but will remain a Miss. The whole Mrs thing - urgh!!

OP’s posts: |
TheFormerPorpentinaScamander Wed 07-Oct-20 02:08:47

I have no idea what I would do if I got married. I always assumed I'd become Mrs Hisname. But I also assumed I'd be married long before I was 36 grin. Clearly I'm too amazing to handle grin

OneEpisode Wed 07-Oct-20 03:49:22

I’m probably one of the people that struggles with the “Miss”. I think of Miss as little girls and Mrs as meaning adult women. That’s the original meaning for most of the history of the word. The meaning of married woman is a recent aberration IMO. In France now where they have standardised titles for women, and adult women are Madame. Mrs is the English equivalent.
But you can use Mx (men or women); Miss; Ms; or Mrs. I’d try to remember which you preferred.

FireUnderTheHand Wed 07-Oct-20 04:11:52

I’m married but I use Ms because it’s the equivalent of Mr. Nothing about my marital status can be determined from Ms. As it should be.

Same here if I have to use a title (I manage to avoid it 99% of the time, as I sign off like many female professionals... F. Hand). Miss has always IME been an unmarried young woman (just into or before actual adulthood and before the journey of adult maturation) or a child while Ms. is a woman of any age of any marital status. It is almost like a rite of passage to move from Miss to Ms. (girl/young woman to woman) or Master to Mr. (boy/young man to man) - it conveys adulthood and independence.

Claiming Miss at 40yrs old while engaged to be married with intent to hold onto Miss once married seems like someone doesn't want to admit that they are not young and not single. You aren't young at 40yrs old you are mid-life (great age); and you aren't single. You also aren't 'old' at 40 as this is the beginning of your peak years from sexuality to career (in most cases). For posterity sake, once you are married you aren't a Miss - because words mean things. Once you are married you are Ms. or Mrs. (by definition) - your choice or none at all - but the definition of Miss has always included 'unmarried'. The title Ms. applies to mature women of any age irrespective of marital status.

OP, your 40s are the decade of IDGAF IMO. I am three years older than you and couldn't give any less fucks about how any random person describes me, what pronouns they use, or what title they think is right. If I don't feed them, fuck them, or work with them their opinion isn't relevant/important in the scope of my existence.

The insistence of Ms. over Mrs. makes sense to me - it disassociates our marital status from our names. Miss does the opposite it announces that that you are single i.e. unmarried, without a committed partner, etc.

Call yourself whatever obviously, but you asked and I am wasting time atm so there you have it. wine

greenteafiend Wed 07-Oct-20 04:43:51

Because "Miss" as a title was originally developed for unmarried women during the 18th century (roughly; it didn't become a settled rule until about Austen's time). The traditional convention is that a woman who had been married but is now single again was known as Mrs Formerhusband's name.

If you are going to buy into an old-fashioned set of rules, as decribed above, then you really have to use "Mrs." If you are going to reject these old fashioned rules and go with modern practices, then you need to go Ms all the way. Trying to use "Miss" as a formerly married women or a married does not really satisfy either of these systems, and frankly I am not surprised that people are struggling a bit with it. They are probably thinking "She obviously meant to say "Ms" but her pronunciation is a bit off, so I'd better use Ms"--I know I would!

I have been Ms since I was 16 and as someone who lives outside the UK, I find it baffling how the UK continues to cling to Miss and Mrs. In most other English speaking parts of the world, they are falling out of use. For business purposes (and in most other contexts, let's face it, it's mostly first-names these days!) you use Ms unless the person has made it clear they use another title.

If I have to address someone in the UK and I don't know their title, I use Mrs for any married woman over about 65 (= my mum's friends, basically!) unless corrected, as I tend to assume that they probably prefer to use Mrs in most cases, but anyone under that age I'll use Ms as the default choice.

I really think Mrs and Miss need to die a gentle death. They serve no practical purpose, and it feels so impolite and judgmental to have to look at someone and have to start making judgments about how old they look and whether they "look" married or not.

Qiry Wed 07-Oct-20 04:51:18

Do we even need titles any more? I'm okay with the entire world using my names without adornment.

teezletangler Wed 07-Oct-20 05:18:51

Miss was one of the things I hated about living in the UK. It's still on my UK bank cards from when I was in my 20s and 30s and it makes me shudder! I find it old fashioned and infantile. Much prefer the North American usage of Ms. though I'd also be perfectly happy if we used Mrs for all adult women, after the French fashion.

(Are adult women in Germany still called Fraulein? Surely not??)

remainin Wed 07-Oct-20 05:19:26

I lived in France for years before I got married, way back when Mademoiselle was the standard title for any woman under 25 (or thereabouts). After marriage, I styled myself as Madame husband's name or Mrs. After we divorced, I kept the Mrs husband's name for awhile but now use Ms. It's unnecessarily complicated, IMO. Ms makes it easy and is an obvious equivalent to Mr.

trixiebelden77 Wed 07-Oct-20 05:46:12

I prefer simply my first name, but otherwise use Miss. I could use Dr or Mrs. I’m in my 40s.

I don’t imagine I’m young or single, and have experienced no confusion with my independence (I have not been supported by either the government or a partner at any stage in my life; every last bill has been paid by me since the age of 17).

I like the bluestocking spinster connotations.

I’m afraid I’m not terribly interested if others feel I’ve failed to grow up.....their mistake is of little concern to me. Most people of my age and education have grasped that ‘words mean things’.....and appreciate the historical connotations that connect me to generations of women whose primary pursuit was a career.

Highfalutinlootin Wed 07-Oct-20 05:52:44

Mrs. needs to die. Why are women expected to disclose their marital status and men aren't? It's incredibly sexist. All women should proactively reject tradition and use Ms. regardless of marital status.

Giganticshark Wed 07-Oct-20 06:18:06

I hate that I need to put my title usually relating to whether I'm married or not, but I can put 'prefer not to answer' when asked my sex.

Why the fuckity fuck is it important to know whether I'm married or divorced or just single???

chatwoo Wed 07-Oct-20 06:29:36

I tend to be flexible between Miss and Ms - depending on who I've told what. I think I renewed my passport under Ms, recently.

Refreshingly, the driver's licence in my (adopted) country just has my names - no title.

Not really fussed what gets used - Miss or Ms - but can't stand it when title gets defaulted to Mrs <My Surname> as that's my mother, not me! But as it's not used as an identifier, I'd also be happy if titles died completely.

Bmidreams Wed 07-Oct-20 06:42:35

Ms has nothing to do with your marital status per se. It certainly has nothing to do with being divorced!

It's a simple issue of sexual equality. Women are being asked to state something that men are not.

In their title men do not have to declare if they're married, women do by using miss or Mrs. By using Ms women are equal to men.

I have been Ms since I grasped this at school and still am now I'm married.

BrassicaRabbit Wed 07-Oct-20 06:59:00

I'm married. But I fluctuate between Ms and Miss and nobody official seems to care or notice. Is the title bit official anyway?

I'm never going to be Mrs as I didn't change my name but I do get assumed all the time. I use Miss out of habit (not married especially long) and Ms when I think about it.

EdgeOfACoin Wed 07-Oct-20 07:02:14

At 16 I decided that I was going to start going by Ms on my 18th birthday, as I would legally be an adult at that point and I associated the title Miss with children.

Twenty years ago when I turned 18 I followed through with that plan. After marriage I did not take my husband's name and so I still have the same name and title as when I was 18.

In my profession people tend to use first names in emails. However, when more formality is called for, I always address women as Ms (unless they're a Dr or something). Likewise, people address me and my female colleagues as Ms over email before switching to first names.

I find Miss and Mrs to be quite old-fashioned terms. I'm astonished at how many friends I have who use these titles.

I believe that if you do go down the Miss/Mrs route, the convention is that you remain a Miss if you keep your surname upon marriage. So Cherie Blair is Miss Booth or Mrs Blair, depending on whether she is being addressed in a professional or personal capacity.

I find Mx to be pointless and unpronounceable. Quite frankly, I'd rather be a Miss than a little Mx.

The history of Miss and Mrs is fairly benign as far as I can work out. Both titles are diminutives of the word Mistress, as in the Mistress of the House. The lady of the house was Mrs and her daughters were Miss - the equivalents of Mr and Master. However, as boys grew older they all became Mr, whereas girls only became Mrs upon marriage.

In other European countries the terms Fraulein and Frau, Signorina and Signora, Mademoiselle and Madame developed along similar lines to Master and Mr. It does seem odd that in English-speaking countries we've made such a hash of something so simple!

EdgeOfACoin Wed 07-Oct-20 07:07:15

In my above comment, I should clarify that I call people Ms unless I know they would prefer to be a Miss or Mrs! I'm not going to force my 70s-feminism-style title preferences on others!

Marmite133 Wed 07-Oct-20 07:15:57

'I'm never going to be Mrs as I didn't change my name'.

I'm married, kept my name and am now Mrs......
I never liked Miss much and I dislike Ms from a completely phonetical point of view though I appreciate the equality. I just wish there was a better sounding version 😂 Maybe I'll go with Madame from on?!

highame Wed 07-Oct-20 07:40:16

I married and changed surname because I preferred his, no other reason and it was nice to have the option.

Still have Mrs on my bank card and still use if I feel formal. Used Ms at work after husband died but often just used my initial and surname. I like the variety, use whatever

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in