Hi ma'am!!!

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Poseidon, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Poseidon Member

    Brasil
    Portugues
    Hi ma'am!!!

    What is the meaning of sentence above?
    Could you explain me that?
     
  2. gigizac Member

    Florida
    American English, USA
    In USA that is a salutation said to an older or married woman. It is short for Madam. In Europe this is improper from what i undertsand. Let´s see what other members say :)
     
  3. Poseidon Member

    Brasil
    Portugues
    Thank you gigizac for your explanation. That is enough for me.

    Poseidon
     
  4. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian

    If you address a British lady as "Ma'am" the first question you get asked is whether you're American...;)
     
  5. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    In BE I would always say 'Good morning, madam,' to someone we don't know, otherwise we would address them by their name: " 'mornng Mrs. B", " 'morning Liz"

    I don't think we have such an informal address as 'Hi! ma'am!'

    Of course, in the old days when there were people like bus conductors, the address might well have been " 'mornin' luv", " 'mornin' ducks", especially in the London area.
     
  6. DavyBCN Senior Member

    Barcelona
    UK - English
    Unless you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to meet the Queen - when it is the "proper" way to address her, along with Your Majesty. I have always wanted to try "Hi Liz"!
     
  7. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    Italian
    Cheeky....:D
     
  8. DavyBCN Senior Member

    Barcelona
    UK - English
    Nah! Just a life-long republican.:)
     
  9. Chazzwozzer

    Chazzwozzer Senior Member

    Istanbul
    Turkish
    While I was abroad, I usually said "Excuse me, ma'am" before I asked something a lady that I didn't know, so it's absolutely incorrect?
     
  10. Giordano Bruno

    Giordano Bruno Senior Member

    English, England
    It's not really that bad, and it's absolutely right if the unknown woman was indeed Liz.
     
  11. Rodner Member

    Seattle
    English, USA
    From what I know, ma'am is commonly used in the South (as in the southern United States) as a respectful term for a woman, especially an elder. However, outside of the South, most women would consider an insult to be called "ma'am," as it implies that the speaker thinks that you look like an old maid! I'm not sure about the rest of the country, but in the Northwest, where I'm from, "miss" is the most appropriate way for addressing a stranger who is female.
     
  12. Kevman Senior Member

    Phoenix, Arizona
    USA English
    That sounds perfectly fine to me, Chazzwozzer.

    In my experience, ma'am is the feminine counterpart of sir. To address a stranger respectfully "ma'am" is alright, but Miss can be a lot more flattering! With an authority figure like a police officer I would definitely use "ma'am" (Maybe I'd get fewer tickets using "Miss", though, huh?).

    When I started my first job out of college I would have called my boss "ma'am" if she hadn't explicitly expressed her personal distaste for the term (indeed, she did think it made her sound like an old maid! But calling her "Miss" would have been completely inappropriate, I think. Fortunately, she preferred that I call her "Tracey".:)).
     
  13. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    Being a Brit, I would never use the expression 'ma'am' except when addressing the Queen. I would however say "Excuse me, madam." in the appropriate circumstances, this being, in BE, the correct feminine version of 'sir', at least that's the way I see it, others are free to disagree, of course. Wouldn't life be boring if we all agreed on everything? Variety is the spice ....
     
  14. Poseidon Member

    Brasil
    Portugues
    Thank you!!!
    It is clean for me now!!!
     

Share This Page

Loading...